A lady from the isolated Wakhan Corridor wears a white burqa before traveling out of her village. Burqa, locally known as chadri, is a fully enveloping garment wear by many women in Afghanistan. The people of Wakhan believe in the Ismaili sect of Islam, which doesn’t recognize any type of veils for women. But the Ismaili women of Afghanistan have to cover themselves when visiting towns or bazaars inhabited by the majority Sunnis. Many of Afghan Muslims agree that women face should not be visible, as it is considered a disgrace to their pride and honor. But burqa is a foreign to the Wakhan culture, therefore most women here don’t possess any of it by themselves. Many Wakhan women have to borrow their burqa from other women in their village, when it’s necessary for them to travel and to wear one. The Ismailis also often receive threats and deemed heretic by some, due to their moderate religious belief and tradition.
Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan, 2006