I wasn't too sure whether this belonged on Writing or Worldbuilding, but I figured this is a better fit. I'm currently doing some thinking for a modern-day RPG with dark supernatural themes, and I would like one of the main characters to be an Afghan woman. Now, I confess to knowing absolutely nothing that would help me understand how such a character would think, act and understand the world around her, and would like some resources that could help me get into the mindset of such a character.

  • $\begingroup$ We'll need a few more details: what's her world like? (I'm not entirely certain this is on-topic but I'll leave that for others to decide) $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Jan 18 '15 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtOfCode: Think of it as 'our world, only the supernatural is real'. It'll be based on the lore of After Sundown, which you can at tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=52316. $\endgroup$ – Koz Ross Jan 18 '15 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly I don't think this is on topic for either worldbuilding or writing. Your best bet might be RPG. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Jan 18 '15 at 12:31

The most important key points to the mentality of an Afghan women would be the following (as far as I can tell):

Sources: Own research / relatives with experience in this cultural area.


  1. patriarchal (public) community Most afghan women (even today with interwebz and so on) would not be used to share their opinion openly, or to disagree with a man in the public.
  2. strict separation of public / private In this cultural area, there is a strict separation between the private (i.e. in your own house, within your own walls, on the women's restroom etc.) and the public areas, most women will behave very differently within the private areas, for example veil themselves in the public, but wear makeup/frisky clothes underneath, which are only shown for short periods of time to other women (i.e. short party in the women's restroom).
  3. As Afghanistan is a country which has been in war or warlike cirumstances for decades right now, fear of other cultures / outsiders is to be expected.
  4. Within the private sphere, women (even more so the older ones) generally have more influence than the men. (generalisation).


It depends on the backstory of your character, but the most important question (in my eyes) is how did she actually become a protagonist? Is she operating within her cultural area? Within a native community? Or do the events somehow separate her from them?

You could even talk about an exception to the rules above (who certainly exist and will exist more often in the future), which could be a source of inherent conflict (personal views vs. native community).

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