Female health workers sans male guardians fired by Taliban in Afghanistan

Since coming to power in August last year, the Taliban regime has announced several measures—including barring women’s presence in the public without a male companion, ban on girls' education, and ban on women from driving among others—restricting the rights and freedom of women

Jun 30, 2022
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Female health workers sans male guardians fired by Taliban in Afghanistan

Four Afghan female health workers were allegedly fired from their jobs by the Taliban, the country’s present rulers, as they came to work without their male companions—a violation of social codes that the Islamist regime has enacted for women.

Two nurses, a vaccinator, a midwife and a health officer, who were working at Maiwand Bashir Health Center in Maiwand, an impoverished district in the southern Kandahar province, were sacked from their jobs on Wednesday, Rukhshana Media reported, citing local sources.

Since coming to power in August last year, the Taliban regime has announced several measures—including barring women’s presence in the public without a male companion, ban on girls' education, and ban on women from driving among others—restricting the rights and freedom of women.

Last year, hundreds of women employees working in different ministries under the erstwhile democratic government were also fired from their jobs. Furthermore, restrictions like gender segregation in public places also affected women economically, especially in cafes in Kabul.

However, women health workers were not targeted earlier by the regime, considering their importance to running the essential health sector, which was already struggling because of the funding crunch after the collapse of the previous government.

This appears the first case when the Taliban has fired health workers, citing violation of what is the blatantly discriminatory policy toward women. 

Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, is relatively more conservative in comparison to other areas of the country.

Although the participation of women in public life is relatively low here, the limited— yet significant— progress made during the last two decades, has been all but reversed by the Taliban.

Reacting to the action, Pashtana Zalmai Khan Durrani, an Afghan education rights activist, tweeted, “[Maiwand is] one of the remote districts. And given the fact that not a lot of female health workers don’t prefer to work in those districts because of the commute and uncertainty and now this. What a shame.”

(SAM)

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