In this photograph taken on October 21, 2017 Afghan widow Janat Bibi, 65, holds a teapot walks inside her mud house in the remote village of Shemol in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
/ AFP / NOORULLAH SHIRZADA
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Bibi and the men's widows now battle to support 12 children in a remote village in the eastern province of Nangarhar where there are few jobs for men, let alone for women.Bibi, who was widowed during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, said she had supported the men's decision to join the police in the restive southeastern province of Zabul despite the risks.Many of Afghanistan's more than 330,000-strong security forces come from villages much like Shemol, which is some 70 kilometers from the provincial capital Jalalabad.More than 2,500 Afghan security forces were killed in the first four months of this year alone, according to U.S. watchdog SIGAR.Help for Afghan Heroes, an Afghan nonprofit organization supporting 5,000 families of wounded or dead security forces, said corruption was a key reason many women did not receive assistance.The family of Malekzada, who was also a policeman in Zabul until he was killed by the Taliban two years ago, find themselves in the same plight as Bibi's.
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