American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters once did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.
Years later, she later returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands.
From Barbara’s vantage point, despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women walked even further back behind their husbands, and seemed to appear happy to maintain the old custom.
She approached one of the Afghani women and asked: “Why do you continue with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?”
The woman looked Barbara straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said:
We may not walk five paces behind our men here in North America, but when it comes to taking care of ourselves after a catastrophic health crisis like a heart attack, we might as well be.