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Khanwali Adil protesting the enslavement of women
Geopolitics

In Afghanistan, Fighting To End Slavery Of Virgin Girls

'Baad' is a tribal tradition through which a woman is offered as compensation if her relative commits a crime.

KABUL — When clans in Afghanistan fight over land, water or other resources, community elders form a council to mediate the conflict and prevent bloodshed. When a villager kills a member of a rival clan, for instance, this council enacts a practice called "baad" wherein it chooses a young woman from the perpetrator's family and orders her to marry a man from the victim's clan. In theory, the resulting bond between the two families is meant to stop further turmoil. In practice, it is the young woman who pays the price.

Khanwali Adil, 28, says it's time to stand up against the barbaric practice. Surrounded by young activists and university students, he lives in a colorful tent in Kabul, the capital. The tent is decorated with slogans. "Women are not our concubines," says one. "Let's end inhumane treatment of Afghan women," reads another.

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