Time Magazine Front Cover

I saw a link on Twitter last night that just said "shocking picture on the front of Time" and was accompanied by a link.  You may have already seen it as it has been shared on Twitter (direct from the article) over 1600 times and has almost 18,000 "likes" on Facebook.  Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see and read.

The cover picture on Time magazine (August 2010) is not mine to reproduce here on the blog but you can view it by clicking on any of the links within this blog post.  It is a picture of an 18-year old Afghan woman who was sentenced, by a Taliban commander, to have her nose and ears cut off for attempting to flee her abusive in-laws.  An abridged version of the story can be viewed online or on the iPad version of Time magazine.

For this young woman to speak out about her experience (whilst living in a secret location which is protected by armed guards and supported by the NGO Women For Africa) and allowing herself to be photographed speaks volumes.  This is a woman who wants to change the world and to start where it matters.  At home.

This video has commentary by the photographer, Jodi Bieber, explaining how she approached the subject

I don't support the argument that the front cover picture would be distressing for children in the supermarket.  For one, magazines such as this are displayed at a height to catch an adult's eye, not a child's eye.  There are far more age-appropriate publications with glaring primary colours and free gifts on the shelving below.  The young people that will notice it are old enough to ask questions and be educated about why this happened and they can help be the next generation that hopefully brings this horrific mutilation to an end.

I am fully aware that this blog post may bring opinions from both sides - in some small way I hope it does open up a debate because we all need educating.