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Afghan women still face perils at work and home

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:47s - Published < > Embed
Afghan women still face perils at work and home

Afghan women still face perils at work and home

Access to public life has improved for Afghan women since U.S.-backed forces ousted the Taliban, though many hardships remain, including the threat of militants increasingly targeting their workplaces.

Jayson Albano reports.

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Afghan women still face perils at work and home

For Meena Ahmadi, every day is Bring Your Child to Work Day.

An office daycare centre looks after her daughter.

It gave her a sense of security knowing she was close by - until April.

A suicide bomber and gunman belonging to Islamic State targeted her building in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

It left a dozen people killed.

A hundred children and almost three thousand employees needed evacuation.

(SOUNDBITE) (Dari) AFGHAN MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS EMPLOYEE, MEENA AHMADI, SAYING: "It was a horrible situation.

Children, teachers, and mothers were screaming, and they didn't know what to do and where to escape." (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) AFGHAN MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS EMPLOYEE, MEENA AHMADI, SAYING: "Right after the attack, I phoned my mom, she was praying and crying for me.

I was thinking what will happen if the terrorists throw hand grenades toward us or they come and cut our heads off?" Ahmadi's one of thousands of women working as civil servants who bring their kids to daycare.

Thousands of children are given food, toys and education at subsidized rates.

After the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban, the daycares were a successful initiative by the new government.

However in recent months, Afghanistan's seen deadly attacks by both Islamic State and a re-energized Taliban.

Both groups, which shun so-called 'western practices' as well as the intermingling of genders, have increasingly targeted offices where women work closely with expats and men.

Talks between the U.S. and the Taliban to end Afghanistan's war began last year, but progress is slow.

And working women face more than militants: Those who want a career or financial independence continue to suffer high levels of sexual and domestic violence.

And they see discrimination from conservative family and hardline Islamist groups.

Ahmadi has chosen to return to work and keep her child in daycare, but she feels uneasy.

She says some women don't bring their children in anymore.

Others have even resigned.




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