Gender Roles : Laila 's Story Essay

1435 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 6 Pages
1. Laila’s story begins at a young age in the novel as one of the protagonists. She grew up in a comfortable home, in Kabul, Afghanistan during the 1960’s, with parents that valued education and women’s rights. While still in her teens, she became pregnant by a boy she loved, who unfortunately, had to flee to Pakistan due to the war. A bomb that killed her parents led her to marry an older man who already had a wife. She did this to protect her unborn, due to the stigma around an unmarried Afghan having sex. Her attributes include her intelligence, selflessness, resilience against authority; while her roles including being a mother, loving friend and a fighter.
2. I believe that, by nature, Laila does not fit stereotypical gender roles. However, the country she lives in and the man she is married to forces her into these stereotypical gender roles. The first gender role she does not fit is the one that says girls should not be having premarital sex. Laila has sex with the love of her life, Tariq, at a young age because she loves him. She is aware that something like that, due to the time and place in history, would be highly frowned upon, but does it with no hesitation or regret. Another gender role, particular to Afghanistan, is that women should not be educated. Luckily the home she was born into has taught her the opposite. Her father, Hakim, taught her that marriage can wait and that an education is the most important thing for Laila. Unfortunately, timing did not work…

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