Here’s an interesting and heartbreaking article about the practice of dressing a daughter as a boy to pretend she’s a son. The practice allows the daughter to come and go from the house (daughters are confined inside), to play cricket and football and other outdoor sports with boys, to work, to help families with shopping, to obtain a better education, and to avoid the daily harassment and disrespect that girls and women endure. It also enables the family to avoid the stigma of only having daughters. Generally speaking, the practice ends at puberty, when the family deem it too dangerous for their daughter to be around boys any more. Many enter arranged marriages at this point. Unsurprisingly, it can be hard to adjust to the life of a woman, especially for those who have spent their entire childhood living as a boy. There are no official statistics, but when asked, many Afghans have stories of neighbours, friends and relatives who have dressed a daughter as a boy. The stories concern women of many generations.