Sheghnan village, Afghanistan (map)  

Maliknoz is 35 years old. She was married when she was 12 to a 22 year old man. She has five sons and one daughter and is pregnant with her seventh child. This is an unplanned pregnancy – it is not easy for her family to take care of six children and Maliknoz has felt very sick during this pregnancy. Her husband has a small sewing shop at home and makes traditional Afghan clothing, but his earnings are not enough to keep his large family out of poverty. Maliknoz hopes that her children will have an easier life. She is illiterate, but all her children now go to school and do well, which makes her very happy. Asked what she enjoys the most, Maliknoz mentioned her visits with her parents. They are her closest confidants and she can share everything with them. Maliknoz is a very talented spinner and also a good cook. She works very hard and her family respects her for that. She uses her earnings from spinning to buy clothing and school supplies for her children and also to help relatives and neighbors to pay for weddings – the most expensive event in the life of Afghan families.