Bibi Amenah's grandchildren are tied to a chest in order to keep them from leaving the house. Few widows leave the comfort of the hill where they live.
Noorzia talks about her husband, who died in 2000, while sharing tea with a neighbor on her hill in Kabul, Afghanistan. After 2001, relatives told her to move from her southern Afghanistan home to Kabul where there is a place made for widows. After a year of traveling and living off the charity of distant relatives, she found the hill.
Bibi Amenah goes through paperwork while her children and the children of neighbors surround her. She runs a small business as a seamstress. Amenah is one of over a thousand widows that are said to live on what is known as "the hill that women built." They moved to this Kabul hill in search for a place to build their own homes, live in peace, and support each other. They made their own bricks from dirt from the hill. Their homes are now slowly being taken over by men in the area.
On a hill overlooking Kabul, with little access to electricity, women have made their own houses, brick by brick, from the land beneath them. They have created what is known by Afghans as “The Hill That Women Built."
Aneesa, a widow, hangs clothes on her home on a steep hill in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2011.
Bibi Amenah's son prepares for school, which is at the foot of the hill. She said she worries about him every time he leaves the house, but values his education.
Aneesa (right), a widow, talks to her neighbor while their children play on "the hill that women built." Widows often help each other with chores and child care.
Aneesa, a widow, collects dirt from the hill to make bricks to add a room to her home. Afghan forces have a checkpoint on the hill in order to protect the widows who live there.
Widows care for a child who cut his head while playing on old Soviet military remnants on "the hill that women built" in Kabul.
Children of widows play on "the hill that women built" which overlooks Kabul. The widows say they feel safe on the steep hill, which because of its lack of water and minimal electricity, keeps others from wanting their homes.
Children from the hill play on old Soviet military equipment in Kabul. The hill was once a Soviet outpost.
Aneesa, a widow, collects dirt from the hill to make bricks and build her home. Her husband died in the late 1990s in fighting in southern Afghanistan.
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On a hill overlooking Kabul, with little access to electricity, women have made their own houses, brick by brick, from the land beneath them. They have created what is known by Afghans as “The Hill That Women Built."

Widowed by the violence of the past 20 years, these women were left without the means to take care of their families, let alone a place to live. Some were forced into prostitution and lived in constant fear of the Taliban’s strict interpretations of Sharia law. After 2001, many widows from all over Afghanistan left the shadows of their harsh life for the rumor of a utopia in Kabul made just for them.

Now the hill is home to over a thousand women and children. The abandoned government property they live on, once an outpost for the Soviets, has been organized by women in commune fashion.