Life started with Adam and Eve, which proves the important role of women in life. 

Women's rights are recognized and protected in Islam and by the international community. Women should not be sentenced to confinement between the four walls of their homes. 

Afghanistan had a poor record in women's rights, and it became worse after the Taliban takeover. It started with abolishing the Ministry of Women's Affairs, to make it clear that women have nowhere to go if they encounter any problems. 

As an Afghan woman, I am the victim of these bans and discriminatory rules. I fought -despite all the difficulties- to be educated and serve my country. I don't want to believe that all of that will be in vain. 

Women are now required to have a mahram whenever they go out. What if there are simply not enough men to accompany each girl or woman in the family? What if they don't have a father? What if their brothers are underage? Where can women -who are in such situations- find a mahram? 

Women are now banned from working. They are not allowed to go out on field missions. Women cannot even use the public transport system in a country that is facing extreme poverty. Unfortunately, the men in our families including the father, husband and brothers are not willing to defend our rights. They threaten and oppress us more instead. 

There's a lack of women professionals in many sectors, and with these bans, there will be even fewer educated women. There will be no more women who will graduate to become teachers and doctors. This is a painful situation to endure. 

This is the greatest persecution of women in the world. The bans will also destroy children's future, and it will result in an ignorant and poor society where early marriage is prevalent and women's rights are not protected. Ignoring women means removing half of the population, which will make the remaining half weak and hopeless. 

But people who read books will never be enslaved. Let's all try together to build a bridge of knowledge firmly, so that tomorrow Afghanistan is not the source of darkness, ignorance and illiteracy. 

We should never give up. No matter how desperate we are. The women here are heroes, not just because of their work or their success, but because they are women in Afghanistan, and that will make them heroes for eternity.


Name and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the humanitarian worker.