She is a midwife in a rural district of Afghanistan, and by the 25-year-old’s own estimate, she must have already delivered about 1,000 babies in her short career. But since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year, Rana (not her real name) has faced nothing but mounting uphill struggles in pursuing her work.
First, her father fell ill with Covid, making her the family’s sole breadwinner. Then local Taliban commanders began ordering her not to leave the house without a mahram – a male parent or brother to chaperone her. Afghanistan’s changing circumstances threatened both her important work and her family’s wellbeing.
Rana’s story is one measure of the tremendously damaging impact of the cataclysmic collapse of the Kabul government last summer, and how much more complicated delivering aid to Afghans in dire need has become.
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