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Albanian sworn virgins 6th June 2007
Pashke - one of the Albanian sworn virgins. Photo by Antonia Young.
The women who vow to remain celibate and publicly declare themselves “honorary men”

In the mountains of Northern Albania, some women vow to remain celibate and publicly declare themselves “honorary men”. This choice earns an Albanian sworn virgin the respect of the community and the power usually granted to a man only: she will become the head of the family, the guardian of property and the armed fighter upholding the family honour in blood feuds. Miriam talks to Antonia Young, author of 'Women who become Men', about an ancient tradition and the way it survives in present day Albania.

'Women who become Men' by Antonia Young is published by Berg, ISBN: 1-85973-335-2.
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