Afghanistan's women rangers challenge stereotypes

Fatima, Kubra, Nikbakht, and Sediqa are the park's first and only female wardens


Web Desk May 14, 2015
Fatima, Kubra, Nikbakht, and Sediqa are the park's first and only female wardens. PHOTO: AL JAZEERA

AFGHANISTAN: In a country where only 16% of women work, four women were hired to protect Afghanistan's first national park in a rather bold move set to challenge gender stereotypes.

Once a popular stop on the 1960s hippie trail, Band-e-Amir Park and the now destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan rarely see foreign tourists anymore.


PHOTO: AL JAZEERA


Years of war and destruction following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the rise of the Taliban have made these stunning sites a dangerous place to visit.

However, as the country slowly moves to rebuild itself, rangers have been trained to protect the park and carry out conservation work.


PHOTO: AL JAZEERA


Fatima, Kubra, Nikbakht, and Sediqa are the park's first and only female wardens. Their responsibilities include assisting local tourists, teaching children about conservation and ensuring visitors do no harm to the park.


PHOTO: AL JAZEERA


Declared a national park in 2009, Band-e-Amir is made up of six azure blue mineral lakes surrounded by stunning cliffs and is home to wildlife such as the Persian leopard, ibex, urials as well as the Afghan snow finch.

The park stretches over 570 square kilometres and is located on the Hazarajat Plateau in the mountainous Hindu Kush.


PHOTO: AL JAZEERA



PHOTO: AL JAZEERA



PHOTO: AL JAZEERA



PHOTO: AL JAZEERA


This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera

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