She is one of the many ordinary women whose story captures the transformation of Afghanistan in the past 16 years.
Laila is 42 years old – although this may not be her exact age as, like most Afghans of her generation, she doesn’t know her date of birth. She was married off when she was 10 years old. She never went to school, or learned to read and write. She has struggled with a life of hardship and poverty.
Because of this, Laila sent her children to school at the first opportunity. Her 24-year-old daughter now works for an NGO in Bamyan and regularly travels to Kabul on her own. Her two younger daughters go to university in Kabul and live alone in the big, crowded and unsafe capital so they can pursue a quality education.
They all count on Laila’s support in the face of immense social pressure from their extended family, who believe that women need to marry young and should not work in environments where they have male colleagues."
Read article by Shaharzad Akbar from World Economic Forum.