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Feminists in burkhas

Many liberals backed the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, believing it would end women's servitude. I met dozens of women, from a young MP to a serial killer, to discover whether things are better

By Charlotte Eagar   February 2007

Shirin Gul is in the warder’s office in the women’s block of Kabul’s Pul-i-Charki jail, one eye on the Indian soap blaring from a television in the corner. Plump and small, smooth-skinned at 50, she simpers at the male warder and me with rank intimacy.

“I didn’t kill anyone,” she says, putting her hand on my knee, coming so close I can feel the warmth from her face on my cheek. “My husband did it. He’s in jail with my eldest son. But everyone is telling lies about me. Two days ago the vegetable seller said to me, ‘I hear…

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