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Historical Background

In 1919, Afghanistan gained independence from Britain and adopted a constitution in 1964. Tribalism and a pastoral economy dominated Afghanistan's socioeconomic structure until the 1970s. In 1978, a series of upheavals called the Saour Revolution led to a leftist government in Kabul. Legal measures such as land reform and family laws were introduced to modernize and unify the country. However, factional conflicts in the ruling party and tribal disputes with the central government led to Soviet intervention in 1979. In response to the Soviet intervention, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan joined to help the opposition, which consisted of a loose federation of resistance groups called the Mujahidins. In 1989, the Soviet army left Afghanistan, and the American aid stopped. In 1992, several Mujahidin factions entered Kabul and removed President Najibullah. Between 1992 and 1994, power changed hands in violent clashes between Mujahidin factions with an estimated fifty thousands civilians killed. A less known faction of the Mujahidin, called the Taliban—meaning students of Islamic seminaries— took control of 90 percent of Afghanistan in 1994. Between 1994 until September 2001, the Taliban established order, although at great cost to many segments of the population. Meanwhile, they battled an opposition group called the Northern Alliance. Civil war, refugee status, and extreme economic conditions have changed the family structure in Afghanistan.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsAfghanistan - Historical Background, Continuity And Change In Traditional Afghani Family, The Afghani Family In The Early Twenty-first Century