Afghan Women and the Taliban

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Although women in Afghanistan have had a rather hard life, there is still hope for them after the Taliban. Women have suffered under Taliban rule with poor healthcare, virtually no rights, and a huge decrease in education. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan women have much more to be thankful for. Throughout many years of conflict, Afghan women have been left with under equipped and under staffed healthcare services. Once the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the death toll had significantly risen. For Afghan women, their greatest obstacle is child birth. On average, one Afghan woman dies every thirty minutes due to pregnancy related causes.(Walsh, 2007) The national maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan is 1600 for every 100,000 births, which is second in the world next to Sierra Leone.(Walsh, 2007) Healthcare for expectant mothers was a major issue. The majority of women were too poor to afford a car or taxi fare, so they had to take a donkey which, in most cases, was too painful. Many men did not believe in taking women to a hospital because of the comments neighbors would make. The hospitals in major towns are often well resourced, but overly crowded. Malalai Hospital, in Kabul, delivers 18,000 babies a year. However in distant provinces, the situation is much different. In Badakhsan, around 6,500 mothers die for every 100,000 child births. This is the highest ever recorded rate. There are also cultural barriers that only make these problems worse. In many places, women are not allowed to receive healthcare due to privacy worries of domineering men. Since 2001, Afghan women and western healthcare workers have attacked these problems and are now improving the healthcare for women. The infant mortality rate has dropped and the number of births assisted by skilled workers has risen. There is still a large need for healthcare providers, but this is a

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