In what ways is this true for women in Afghanistan?
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It's not that great for women in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban it was brutal and I suspect things now may be slowly improving. The mentality of women as being very subservient to the whims of men seems embedded in their culture. Miriam's mother is trying to explain the plight of women, especially under the Taliban. Freedoms for women were non-existent. Choices regarding education, marriage, children and even attire were all taken out of their hands. Miriam’s mother says that, in the end, all they have is the will to endure; survival is their only strength. Miriam's mother is trying to educate Miriam, the best way she knows how, to her plight in life. She was pretty much discarded by Jalil (her husband) and left with nothing but shame imposed on her by the community. Miriam goes on to endure endless abuses herself. Her mother's statement becomes her reality.