A glimmer of hope first appeared at the beginning of the takeover when in September 2021, the Taliban announced women were allowed to attend universities with gender-segregated classrooms while wearing the compulsory hijabs. Afghan women were willing to forgo comingling with the opposite sex so long as their right to higher education was not violated. However, the education ministry then reversed this and now bans women from university education and teaching nationwide and prevents them from taking university entrance examinations.
The Taliban took their misogynist action even further by banning women from going to public places; gyms and parks and from working in humanitarian non-governmental organizations.
These rulings set back the advances that Afghan women have made over the last two decades, essentially eliminating their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The ban preventing women to work in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is beyond comprehension. I volunteer as a physician in many regions of the world, including the Muslim nations of Libya and Yemen with NGOs, women always play a major role in programs providing maternal and reproductive health, nutrition among children, and vaccination. These women are midwives, social workers, medical assistants, nurses, and doctors; their roles will be hard to fill if they are not allowed to work in Afghanistan.