Widows of Kabul
"UN studies reveal that the household census in developing countries fails to document the inequality and poverty of widows within intergenerational households and misses completely those who are homeless. Widows who have survived political and personal crises are uncounted and unidentified and are the least likely voices heard. The poorest widows are the old and the frail, those with young children to shelter and feed, the internally displaced, refugees, and those who have been widowed due to armed conflict. Statement from UN
From February 1995 to June 1996, I was living in Islamabad teaching photography at the International School. In April 1996, a contact at Associated Press arranged for me to obtain passage to Kabul on a Red Cross plane. Stories had been circulating in the local press about the plight of more than 30,000 war widows in Afghanistan, whose husbands had been killed in action against the Taliban.
The NGO, Care International, allowed me to visit one of their work for food programs and also one of the quarterly food distributions to the widows. In order to be eligible for this quarterly distribution, widows had to be pre-registered and each had to be responsible for more than 8 dependants. We arrived at a makeshift distribution centre, accessed by bombed-out streets. More than 400 widows had been waiting patiently, some for several days. Knowing the desperate situation of these women's lives and witnessing the despair and anxiety in the women's faces affected me profoundly.
Exhibited Nelson Art Walk 1997
8" x 10" Black and white prints