Girl Dresses Like Boy To Support Her Family

Sitara Wafadar is forced to live as a man to support her family.

“After I come here, I go back home crying, and when I look at my clothes, I ask myself, ‘How is my life going?’ Since I am born my life is full of pain,” she stated.

Wafadar has disguised herself as a boy for more than 10 years so she can provide for her family. The practice known as “bacha posh” is common in Afghanistan for families with only daughters to avoid stigma and poverty in the patriarchal society.

“Since I was born, I have put in boy’s clothes and have been working with my father in a brick factory. I have been forced to make bricks,” she explained. “I also want to be a girl in my family, but I don’t have any choice as I have to support my elderly father, too. My mother has become, weak, and we are five sisters.”

Wafadar’s family is in debt so she and her father are forced to work 6 days a week in a factory where women face harassment and kidnapping threats. She dresses like a man to protect herself.

Most bacha posh girls can start dressing like a girl once they hit puberty and plan to get married, but Wafadar says she continues the practice so her younger sister isn’t forced to do it.

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