According to the Islamic law, a woman is not allowed to conduct a journey without permission from the male family members and without being accompanied by at least one male relative, known as mahram. The male guardian can be the woman’s father, husband, brother, nephew, or can be as young as her own little son. The rule is observed very strongly in Afghanistan, especially among traditional and conservative communities. It’s very rare to see a woman travelling alone for long distance in Afghanistan. The idea is to provide safety for the woman, and that a male guardian is the reliable source of protection. But in many situation, it also causes serious restriction to women’s movement and access to the outside world.
Lake Shewa, Badakhshan, Afghanistan, 2008