Exploring the history of a place can give context into the positionality of the people in that society. Historiography is important in understanding the way in which a society has developed due to its political and social problems. And in that regard, Afghanistan, historically has had its share of political and social problems. Some of the main issues that have prompted families to raise their daughters as sons has occurred because of initial political movements and others have come about because of the domination of the patriarchy in Afghan society.
Gender norms in Afghanistan have always existed, as they have in most societies; it has been the recent more strict rules over the role of women that has been historically different. Afghan women, in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s had more freedom. Women could attend school, obtain degrees, enter the workforce and even construct their own family dynamics. However, in more recent times, the invasion of the Soviet Union, and the creation of the Mujahadeen as well as the subsequent rise of the Taliban are the major changes to Afghan society. As war ravaged the country to a level it had not experienced in decades, Afghan politics began to shift. As men began to die and suffer through the Soviet invasion, there came the rise of strict militant groups that were encouraged by the United States.
The Soviets were atheists and the best way to motivate militant groups is to bring religion into the mix, which is exactly what the United States pursued. By having militants fight in honor of their religion, they gave rise to an extremism. Through this strict religious rise of young men, came a new era, of religious scrutiny aimed primarily at women. Women had their education, mobility, and freedom of choice in family and social matters tossed away.