Female Globe and Mail columnists reflect on wearing the burka in Afghanistan

Since The Globe and Mail daily newspaper began staffing its Afghanistan bureau full-time in 2006, it has sent a number of female news correspondents to the country. In light of the current controversy over Afghan women’s rights, this article features four journalists who reflect on their own experiences in the country. Jane Armstrong notes the invisibility of women in public spaces in Kandahar City; Christie Blatchford notes the hostility toward her presence in small villages in the countryside as she wore only a headscarf. Gloria Galloway claims, “The full-body veil is, after all, a constraining garment. Peripheral vision is eliminated and even the view straight ahead is hazy through the lace. It’s also hot and stuffy and awkward, with folds of fabric that catch in doors and wire fencing. But it provides security for both me and my fixer. And it sheds some light on how most women in southern Afghanistan experience the world outside their compounds.” The four journalists say nothing of the new family law on rape in marriage.