Bacha Posh: You will be a boy, my daughter

In Afghanistan, an old tradition allows families without a son to transform one of their daughters into a boy. These little girls, known as bacha posh, spend their adolescence dressed as boys, assuming all the responsibilities of a son and being accorded all the privileges of being male.

But the girls can only be basha posh for a few years: after puberty, they must revert to wearing the burqa and marry. How do these girls live a lie for so many years? How can they become women after spending their youth behaving like boys?

We meet four girls who were chosen to become the son their parents longed for. Shabina has recently become Bacha Posh to help her handicapped father and seems to be taking it all in her stride. Mariam’s parents think it’s time for her to change back but she is desperate to hang on to her male identity. Former Bacha Posh, Naïd, misses the freedom that being male gave her and continues to rebel against society by playing football. Lastly we meet Jack, a Bacha Posh who never went back. She is now 25 and about to head to Europe for a conference on women in Afghanistan. How will she feel when she sees the freedoms enjoyed by European women?

Film info
Production info

YEAR: 2012 / DURATION: 52’ / DIRECTOR: Stéphanie Lebrun / PRODUCTION: Babel Press / VERSIONS AVAILABLE: English, Fr

Previous broadcasts include France 5, FMG, 24 Doc, Mac TV, Media Content Store, RSI, SIC, RTBF, Tokyovision, TVP, Medi 1 sat, TVE, Layen and TG4

Available on VOD