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The Afghan Woman King

How a devout Muslim woman found a way to express herself

Bibi Hokmeena wears a suit, a turban and a pistol in a shoulder holster. She acts and talks like a man, while her nephews address her as "brother” and her neighbours call her "The Woman King". However, she still considers herself a woman who disliked all things feminine since she was a child and was allowed to assume the unique gender role by her father – a Pashtun village elder. Her status has given her more freedom and imposed some serious obligations: years ago, she waged jihad alongside her brothers and now continues in the footsteps of her father as a local justice. She also fights for women's rights, although one could hardly call her a feminist in the Western sense.