These Afghan girls have to reject their femininity and pretend to be male. They are called Bacha Posh. In Afghanistan’s traditional patriarchal society, many women can’t leave the house without a male accompanying them. For this reason, if a family has no son, a daughter is often appointed to play his role. Having tasted freedom, some of the girls never want to go back.
After 5 years of war, Islamic State’s de-facto capital, Raqqa, has been surrounded. On the east side of the city, the road to Raqqa passes the base of the Kurdish women’s protection units and a base for foreign volunteers, as well as a field hospital. Our film crew came here to obtain exclusive frontline footage and talk to the people fighting ISIS militants.
As Peru’s president in the 1990s, Alberto Fujimori introduced a surgical contraception programme to fight poverty – purportedly on a strictly voluntary basis. However, thousands of indigenous women from Peru’s poorest villages are now coming forward with horror stories describing forced sterilisations.
In the poorest regions of India, widows are a burden. Formerly, they would be burnt alive while their husbands were cremated. Today, many widows are made to leave their families and forced to beg in the streets. Fortunately, some Hindu monasteries are able to offer shelter and hope to these betrayed women.
Cambodia, with its cheap labour, is an attractive place for many international fashion brands to manufacture their clothes. However, low production prices are often only achieved by violating workers’ rights. Most women working in clothes factories are fired as soon as they get pregnant.
Sara is Afghanistan’s first and only woman taxi driver. Some people admire her, others condemn and a few even threaten but she doesn't care about what people think. This strong-willed woman is used to having no one to rely on but herself.
E-waste (discarded electronic appliances) is often shipped by developed nations to poorer countries such as Ghana. Locals call its most infamous dumping ground, Agbogbloshie, “Sodom and Gomorrah” after the Biblical sin cities. Its air and soil are polluted with toxic chemicals, while child labour and criminal gangs are also rife.
Kidnapping girls to marry them is common practice in Kyrgyzstan. Some of those couples live happily together for the rest of their lives, but a lot of the women can never put up with the shame of forced marriage and sometimes take their own lives.
Paracale in the Philippines’ is also known as “Goldtown”. RTD visits its illegal goldmines where child labour is rife and health and safety virtually non-existent. To extract gold, miners dive into a mud-filled shaft, sometimes never to come back.
Bangladesh has no metal resources of its own, so the shipbreaking yards in Chittagong, its largest second city, generate high profits for their owners. Workers though, enjoy none of the benefits of that profit; wages are barely enough to live on and there are no health and safety regulations to protect them. Injuries are a frequent occurrence and even death is not uncommon.
The film exposes the plight of Syrian refugee families who cross the border into Lebanon to flee civil war in their country. Now their children have to abandon the dream of a good education and say goodbye to their carefree childhood as circumstances force them to become the breadwinners.
The Central African Republic's bloody civil war lead to the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. Orphaned kids were recruited by both sides of the conflict, taught to fight, drugged and thrown into battle. After a ceasefire in 2015, the rehabilitation process began for many of them, but after all they’ve been through, they and their mentors face challenging times.
In modern day Turkey, hundreds from the Kurdish minority in the South-East are said to be dying at the hands of government forces. The Kurds have long been seeking autonomy for their region. The subject is rarely seen in the Turkish media as journalists who cover the issue have often been detained.