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This cultural practice in Afghanistan makes parents dress their daughters as sons

In Afghanistan’s deeply patriarchal society, sons are valued over daughters – to the point where a family is deemed “incomplete” without a boy. Bacha posh, which in Dari literally translates to “dressed up as a boy”, is a cultural practice in Afghanistan where households without a male heir present a daughter as male dressing them in the masculine attire.

This cultural practice in Afghanistan makes parents dress their daughters as sons
Credit: Casper Hedberg / Kontinent

Such parents say they raise their daughters as sons so that they can enjoy all the rights that come with being a man in their society. There is societal pressure for families to have a son to carry on the family name and to inherit the father’s property.

Bacha posh, which in Dari literally translates to "dressed up as a boy"
Credit: Casper Hedberg / Kontinent

The centuries-old tradition says much about the discrimination faced by Afghan girls quite literally from the moment they’re born.

This cultural practice in Afghanistan makes parents dress their daughters as sons 1
Credit: Casper Hedberg / Kontinent
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