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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-17. A Widow's Tears

Wersja do druku

Voice 1

widow - wdowa

Hello. I'm Tony Ford.


Voice 3


I'm Peter Phillips.


Voice 2


And I'm Mike Procter. Welcome to Spotlight. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Voice 3


A woman sits quietly making a blanket. Her dry, cracked hands work quickly. She slowly looks up. Her dark eyes fill with tears. She does not even notice the village or people around her. She cannot stop thinking about her husband and her sons. She looks back down at her work.

blanket - koc

dry - suchy

cracked - popękany, spękany

look up - spojrzeć w górę

eyes fill with tears - oczy pełne łez

looks back down - znów patrzy na dół

Bibi Sherin lives in Khoistan, Afghanistan. This place was on the front line of many battles. And Bibi and her family experienced a hard life because of this. Bibi was married for six years. She had four strong sons with her husband. But her husband died in a battle with the Russians. Women whose husbands die - widows - have a difficult life in Afghanistan. Bibi did not know what to do. How would she support her sons?

battle - bitwa

experience - doświadczyć

support - utrzymać

Bibi took any work she could find. She cooked for other people. She washed clothes for them. But most people in the village were poor too. They could not pay her very much. Many nights Bibi and her boys went to bed cold and hungry.


Bibi's sons got older. They could not go to school because of all the battles happening around them. But they were able to work to help their mother. Things got worse for Bibi when the Taliban took control of much of Afghanistan. However, some fighters in Bibi's area resisted the Taliban. Again, her village was on the front line of the struggle. Bibi feared for the safety of her sons.

take control - przejąć kontrolę

resist - stawiać opór

struggle - walka

fear for the safety - obawiać się o bezpieczeństwo

Then her worst fears came true. The Taliban arrived in her village. They killed many villagers. And they also killed Bibi's sons. They cut off her sons' heads. They did this in front of her house. She had to bury her sons by herself. She did not understand why they were killed. They were just farmers. They were not trying to fight against anyone.

her worst fears came true - spełniły się jej najgorsze obawy

cut off - uciąć, odciąć

bury - pogrzebać

Bibi is only forty-six years old. However, she looks much older. She is all alone. She only has memories of her family to lessen the pain.

memories - wspomnienia

lessen the pain - zmniejszyć ból

Voice 1


Bibi is not the only woman in this situation. There are hundreds of thousands of widows like her in Afghanistan. The United Nations reports that in the capital city of Kabul alone there are between thirty thousand and fifty thousand widows. And over ninety percent of these women have children.

the United Nations - Organizacja Narodów Zjednoczonych

report - informować, przedstawiać raport

Voice 2


In Afghan culture, men rarely marry widows. In the past, the extended family would take care of widows and their children. But now there is a problem. Too many men died in the different wars to permit this to happen. Most families just do not have enough money to care for these widows. The widows feel great shame. They know everyone in their village sees them differently. So they often move to big cities like Kabul. Here they look for jobs. Some carry building materials all day long. The work is very hard. Other widows find jobs such as washing clothes. And some work in bakeries making bread. But many are forced to sit on the streets begging for money. Their faces are covered. They hold their hands out. They only make enough to buy bread. And their whole diet often consists of bread and tea.

rarely - rzadko

extended family - rodzina wielopokoleniowa

take care - opiekować się

permit - pozwalać

shame - wstyd

carry building materials - nosić materiały budowlane

beg for money - żebrać o pieniądze

covered - zasłonięty

hold their hands out - trzymają wyciągnięte ręce

consist of - składać się z

Voice 1


When widows move to cities, they find shelter in buildings that have been left empty. They have no heat, no water, no electricity. In winter the temperature can drop to seventeen degrees Celsius below zero. Many of these buildings belong to men who fled to Pakistan and Iran. But some owners are returning to Afghanistan and claiming their property. So the widows living there will have nowhere to go. Sometimes the widows' problems seem impossible to solve.

shelter - schronienie

drop - spadać

degrees Celsius - stopnie Celsjusza

below zero - poniżej zera

flee, fled, fled - uciekać

seem impossible to solve - wydawać się niemożliwym do rozwiązania

Voice 2


Many experts believe that education and job training programmes are the solution. Some aid organisations are training women with new job skills. Other organisations help women to get small loans to start businesses. The group Afghan Renascent Youth Association, or ARYA, is one group trying to help. Two Afghani cousins started ARYA. They were very concerned about the situation of the widows. ARYA employs teachers to teach the widows to read. It also employs widows to make blankets for children without parents. ARYA is the group that helped Bibi. She makes blankets for ARYA. And ARYA pays her a fair price. Bibi now has some hope for the future.

solution - rozwiązanie

aid ogranisations - organizacje pomocy

skills - umiejętności

concerned - zmartwiony, zaniepokojony

fair price - uczciwa cena

Voice 1


The future can be better for most women if they go to school at an early age. Experts agree that more girls in Afghanistan need to go to school. However, education costs money. And countries that promised money to Afghanistan are being slow to give that aid. Also, some men in Afghanistan do not believe that girls should go to school. They feel a woman's duty should be to take care of the home. Sometimes these men even attack and burn schools - especially schools for girls.

at an early age - w młodym wieku

aid - pomoc

duty - obowiązek

take care of the home - zajmować się domem

burn - palić

Voice 2


The Afghan government is taking steps to make sure women are given more rights. In 2001 it created a government office called the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The Ministry is trying to improve the lives of women through government policies. In 2006 the Ministry helped to develop an Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan. The plan is to help women become leaders, to train all government officials about women's issues, and to help women get jobs in every part of public life. This action plan aims to reach its goals by the year 2010.

government - rząd

take steps - podjąć kroki

Ministry of Women's Affairs - ministerstwo do spraw kobiet

improve - poprawić

policy - polityka, strategia

official - wyższy rangą urzędnik

issue - sprawa, kwestia

aim to - dążyć do

reach goals - osiągnąć cele

Voice 1


Another positive step was the Afghan Constitution of 2004. It promises equal rights to both men and women. And it states that women should make up twenty-five percent of the parliament. These seats must even remain empty until women are elected. Within the parliament, politicians - both men and women - are learning more about women's issues. Women's groups are meeting with them to talk about the needs and concerns of women. The hope is that parliament will make laws to better protect women and their rights.

equal rights - równe prawa

make up - stanowić

remain - pozostawać

elect - wybierać

needs - potrzeby

concern - sprawa, rzecz; zmartwienie

Voice 2


Sometimes change takes a long time. Afghanistan is a country that has been through so much hardship. Its people are trying to recover from years of conflict. They are hoping for a better future. The most helpless among them - widows and their children - are waiting to see if anyone remembers the promises to help them. And all women are waiting for the promise of equal rights to become a reality.

change takes a long time - zmiana trwa długo

has been through so much hardship - doświadczył tak dużo cierpienia

recover from a conflict - wyjść z konfliktu

Voice 1


The writer and producer of today's programme was Rachel Hobson. All quotes were adapted for radio for this programme. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom. Computer users can hear our programmes, read our scripts and see our word book on our website at This programme is called 'A Widow's Tears'.


© 2004-2019 Jacek Tomaszczyk & Piotr Szkutnik