society and norms – Dress and Appearance: Women's Clothing

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ChalvarDress in Afghanistan can run the gamut from modern clothing, to colorful ethnic dresses, to the very extreme burka. Modern dress, such as the mantau chalvar, is more common in the urban areas, particularly those areas freed from Taliban influence. Mantau chalvar is a long coat worn over trousers and it is popular with women in the capital Kabul, who are comparatively more free to dress as they choose. It is always worn with a scarf (hijab) covering the head that is tied firmly under the chin.

Girls wearing ChadoriChadorSome women wear a chador namaz (or chadori), a long, billowing dress that completely covers the head and body down to her ankles. The face may be exposed or covered except for the eyes. This is the most popular substitute for the more extreme burka that was required under Taliban rule.


AmuletAmulets or tawiz [tah-WEEZ] are also common and are believed to protect the wearer from harmful spirits.




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