Age Islam News Bureau
Pakistani Woman Moves Peshawar High Court against Denial Of Citizenship To
'Women Encouraged To Work In Pine Nut Industry': Taliban Minister for Commerce
Saudi Women’s Participation in Sports Events up by One Hundred Forty-Nine
Percent in 4 Years
BBC British Army Video Aimed At Recruiting Muslim Women Widely Scorned
Afghanistan: The West Needs To Stop the Fascination Of “Saving” Afghan Women
In Afghanistan, a Girls’ School Is the Story of a Village
YouTube Relaunches Women-Dedicated Channel YouTube Batala
UN Commits to Long-Term Support for Afghan Mothers and New-borns
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women as 'Hoors' Completely Inappropriate In Light Of Islamic Teachings:
Council of Islamic Ideology
The woman who was presented as "hoor" on
the occasion of 12th Rabiul Awal. — Twitter
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CCI) has slammed the move to displaying women
as "hoors" and termed it completely "inappropriate in light of
body's statement came after a woman was displayed as a "hoor"
(heavenly figure) during a procession on 12th Rabiul Awal, as per videos that
went viral on social media.
CII's reservations came during a meeting, during which members agreed that
presenting naat, marsiya, and qaseeda as songs was against Islamic teachings.
CII also objected to the ostentatious exhibition of religious rituals and
suggested a uniform standard to be maintained when it comes to religious
response to the "hoor" being put on display, PTI Member of Punjab
Assembly Seemabia Tahir submitted an adjournment motion in the house on the
in the motion, said the incident took place in Multan and termed it a
Woman Moves Peshawar High Court against Denial Of Citizenship To Afghan Husband
The Peshawar High Court building. — PPI/File
A Pakistani woman on Thursday moved the Peshawar High Court requesting it to
declare unconstitutional a provision of the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951,
which allows citizenship to the foreign wife of a Pakistani man but does not
extend the same to the foreign husband of a Pakistani woman.
the petition, Peshawar resident Sameena Roohi sought the court’s orders for the
respondents, including interior ministry and National Database and Registration
Authority, to grant citizenship to her Afghan husband, Naseer Mohammad.
claimed that the law discriminated against the country’s women citizens.
petitioner requested the court to declare unconstitutional and discriminatory
Section 10(2) of the Citizenship Act, under which the wife of a Pakistani
resident is entitled to the country’s citizenship but the same is denied to the
foreign husband of a Pakistani woman.
Citizenship Act’s relevant provision discriminatory
sought orders to declare that Section 10(2) of the Citizenship Act was not
brought in conformity with the fundamental rights within two years of the
commencement of the Constitution, which was a mandatory requirement under
Article 8(4) of the Constitution.
petition is filed through senior lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel and Mehwish
Muhib Kakakhel. The petitioner contended that Section 10(2) of the law was
discriminatory and didn’t treat men and women equally.
respondents in the petition are Nadra through its director-general, interior
ministry through its secretary, and directorate-general of immigration and
passport through it director general.
petitioner said she belonged to a respectable family, was married to an Afghan
national, Naseer Mohammad, in 1985 and had five children from the marriage and
they all were Pakistani nationals.
said her husband had been working in Kuwait for a long time and he had only
been granted Pakistani visa for a short period of one month or so to visit his
woman claimed that her husband had not been given an appointment in
Kuwaitforvisa due to Covid-19 pandemic, so he could not visit his family.
said she had visited the Nadra and immigration offices seeking citizenship for
her husband, but was told that Section 10(2) of the law applied only to the
foreign wife of a Pakistani man.
petitioner contended that the Federal Shariat Court had declared in 2008 the
impugned provision repugnant to the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah,
and called it discriminatory, against gender equality and a violation of
Articles 2(a) and 25 of the Constitution.
said Pakistan was home to millions of refugees from Afghanistan, who shared the
same culture, language, etc. and large number of them had contracted marriages
with Pakistanis especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, but only the
spouses of men are granted nationality of Pakistan and Pakistani women were
deprived of the same.
petitioner also referred to several international conventions, to which
Pakistan was signatory including Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and said by not amending
the Citizenship Act, the government had been violating all those international
laws, which declared that there should be no discrimination on basis of gender.
Encouraged To Work In Pine Nut Industry': Taliban Minister for Commerce
Pine nut in Afghanistan Photograph :( WION)
nuts, popularly known as Afghanistan's 'export gold', are one of the major
sources of support for the country's economy, especially at a time like this
when the Taliban-controlled nation is grappling for stability.
an exclusive interview with WION's Anas Mallick, Taliban's Minister for
Commerce and Industries Nooruddin Azizi talked about capitalisation of pine
nuts, future of women in the industry and the ways in which Taliban is planning
to boost the declining economy.
about the importance of capitalising on pine nuts to improve the tottering
economy of Afghanistan, Azizi said pine nuts are an important factor of the
Afghanistan. "Since Afghanistan is an agriculture country, we have been
working hard to make sure that the products are capitalised on and that it
reaches its final destination," he said.
also claimed that China is not the only country that is looking to invest in
this. Pine nuts "are an important part of Afghanistan, and they are
extremely crucial. We also want to invest in it and do the marketing — the
necessary marketing for it. China is not the only one interested in the
product, there are countries such as United Arab Emirates, European countries,
Central Asian countries. Pine nuts are involved here and they are interested
and we are exporting to them and we would like any interested parties to invest
in this," Azizi said.
have also urged other international governments and organisations to come
forward and invest in Afghanistan. "We invite everyone to invest, who is
interested in investing in Afghanistan to come forward and we welcome
them," Azizi said. "One of the issues previously was the security
issue which is now completely solved and there is no issue on that. We
guarantee from Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that we will ensure no security
issues happen. We have provided really good opportunities for these investments
in the middle and high investment sector, in terms of investment quantity, so
we welcome all of them."
reiterated his guarantee of safety for investors by claiming that violent
attacks have declined and have come down to almost zero in the recent days.
"If you see the security situation, the security issues have gone down by
quite a bit to almost non-existent and that they will be solved to full and
that there is no and would not be any security issue for any investment who
wants to come here or is here," he claimed.
of the workforce in this industry used to comprise of women before Taliban took
control of the country. While it was feared that women may not get their jobs
back, as reports of women facing unfair restrictions were popping in media, the
Taliban minister has declined these rumours.
international community only looks and focuses on Kabul only which is not the
only part of Afghanistan. Even in Kabul there are organisations and departments
where we have women presence available such as medical, education and several
other sectors," Azizi started explaining. "However these pine-nuts
and some others are coming from other provinces where agriculture is main part
of the income and Afghanistan's new government is preparing to make work
platform for women to work under Islamic and Traditional Afghan
he also added that women are not currently involved in picking out the pine
nuts from trees as authorities believe it is a hard job which cannot be done by
women. Other than that, he claims, women "are currently and practically
taking part in the process because this is an extremely sensitive work which
can not be done by anybody else so women are taking part in it".
also opened up about the Tehran summit which was recently held and urged the
international communities, especially the neighbouring nations, to come forward
and help Afghanistan fight the current economic crisis.
regards to the trade and border economy, mostly in Torkham, Islam Qala, Heratan
and such border areas – In the last two months that we have been working here -
We have brought facilitations to the traders to remove any obstacles that they
might have. There are several obstacles obviously and for those obstacles they
have, we have created a committee that will solve such issues immediately,
without any delay," Azizi said. "One of the issues that we have
currently is the increase in the prices of goods and we believe that this
mostly, the biggest factor playing here is the international factor that the
prices of goods internationally are high."
also added that countries such as China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Qatar and United Arab Emirates have provided humanitarian aid to Afghanistan,
but added that the Taliban expected more from European countries and the US.
is the time for international community to understand that we have an upcoming
winter which with it brings issues to people of that area and a lot of
people," Azizi urged the western countries. "We would request the
international community and the neighbouring countries to again assist us in this
and not leave us alone so that we can fight this issue in our country with
minister also admitted that the ground reality of the country's increasing
poverty and starvation is very close to the official figures released by the
United Nations and other international bodies. "These figures and facts
that have been provided by these organizations which have been quoted by you,
can obviously not be verified to exact details from ground but it is pretty
close to what you quoted and to a certain extent is true," he said.
he was quick to add that these problems had existed in the country from the
time Taliban were not ruling the country. "The Islamic Emirate of
Afghanistan inherited these issues of poverty and starvation from the previous
government," he claimed.
also blamed the international communities for the decline in country's economy
as several western governments have frozen Afghan’s funds. "As you know
that these issues we have currently is mostly from and because of the
international community because Afghanistan's money is blocked and there are
restrictions imposed on Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is
again dedicated to provide services to fullest extent by all means meaning all
departments are active, all the departments are working and we expect that to
get out of these issues," he said.
Women’s Participation in Sports Events up by One Hundred Forty-Nine Percent in
– There has been a significant increase in the participation of women in sports
activities over the recent years, thanks to the relentless efforts of the
Ministry of Sports to achieve the goals of Vision 2030.
Minister of Sports Badr Al-Qadi said that the percentage of sports
practitioners increased from 13 percent to 19 percent during the period between
2015 and 2019 and this is also instrumental in increasing women’s participation
in various sports activities by 149 percent during the period.
the session of the Future Investment Initiative here, Al-Qadi said that the
efforts of the ministry aimed to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 have been
instrumental in raising the number of sports practitioners in the Saudi
sports had the greatest impact on Saudi society, as 706 female players
participated in fitness training programs to join the Saudi women’s teams, and
more than 90 women entered the field of umpiring and more than 59 women entered
the world of training.
are keen on overall improvement of the sports sector with a focus on
discovering and promoting talents in all sports items in all regions of the
Kingdom, through various projects such as the Mahd Academy, the School League,
the Neighborhood League and the regional centers of the Saudi Football
Federation,” he added.
British Army Video Aimed At Recruiting Muslim Women Widely Scorned
video from the BBC’s Asian Network highlighting the lack of Muslim women in the
British Army has been met with scorn from social media users.
video, published on the platform’s Twitter account on Wednesday, showcases
activity days from around the UK, designed to encourage Muslim women to join
video shows three women from Bradford taking part in different activities, from
climbing to assault courses. However, online, social media users criticised the
message in the video, with many voicing their concerns about joining the
British military. Some also questioned
why the BBC’s Asian Network was promoting the video and the army-led taster
account asked why the BBC was running propaganda for the British Army, while
another said: "Going overseas to kill other Muslim families and you wonder
why the number of Muslims joining are low"?
Kate Hannaford, from the Royal Artillery, says in the video that the British
Army is eager to recruit a diverse range of people.
really, really important to get different people in because we need different
people that think in different ways, so that actually, we can be the army of
the future,” she says.
to the UK's Ministry of Defence, there are only around 450 Muslims serving in
the British Army, and an even smaller number are women.
social media user condemned the video, saying that the Asian Network was being
is grim - and shame on the BBC Asian Network for allowing their radio station
to be cynically exploited in this way,” they tweeted.
the video, the women speak about their positive experiences at the army
activity days, and say that it made them more aware of the career opportunities
available in the military.
video states that more boot camp style training is being planned over the
coming months, in an effort to encourage more Muslim women to join the
Middle East Eye
The West Needs To Stop the Fascination Of “Saving” Afghan Women
west has long had a fascination with “saving” Afghan women – a theme we have
seen in many media reports since August when Kabul fell to Taliban forces. It
was a narrative which was also front and centre in 2001 when the administration
of US president George W Bush launched the “war on terror” and the invasion of
Afghanistan, with his wife Laura claiming that “the fight against terrorism is
also a fight for the rights and dignity of women”.
Britain, this justification was also used by Tony Blair’s government, which
joined the international coalition claiming that the campaign was needed, among
other things, to “give back a voice” to Afghan women deprived of human rights
under the Taliban regime.
while it is true that Afghan women faced violent injustices under the Taliban
rule, it is important to analyse the misrepresentations that have accompanied
this “saviour” narrative.
this message has found common cause on both sides of the political spectrum,
and has even been a rare example of the language of feminism and the language
of colonialism coming together to say essentially the same thing. In this way,
the Afghan woman has come to represent the opposite of what the west sees as
its defining virtues in that she is represented as backward and powerless.
‘white saviour’ narrative
problem with this white saviour narrative is that it is laden with the same
orientalist civilising rationales. It’s an age-old fantasy that was used to
justify colonial wars – a classic example is Lord Cromer’s condemnation of the
way Islam treated women when Britain colonised Egypt in the 19th century.
sort of thinking continues to foster the idea that war can both free Muslim women
from their oppressive menfolk and liberate the west from Islamic terrorism.
Yet, when women were assaulted by the US-backed Afghan government and Afghan
warlords before the Taliban’s takeover, the international community remained
more: Afghan women's lives are now in danger from the Taliban – but they have
always faced male violence
while the far right often expresses xenophobic and discriminatory positions
against Muslims, some groups have been quick to piggyback on the Taliban
takeover to promote their own anti-woman and anti-liberal agenda. Within these
debates – and for both the far right and fundamentalists – women are
represented in several different and important ways.
Islamic fundamentalists, Muslim women are always seen as key representatives of
their culture, thus the importance of “proper” behaviour and “proper” dress.
Meanwhile, some far-right groups – despite their xenophobia – have been
cheering the Taliban’s victory. Both of these positions are harmful to Afghan
the same time, liberal feminists on the left also express concerns for the
abuses of rights of the “voiceless” Muslim woman. But opposition to the Taliban
in particular and elements of Islamic culture and society more generally sets
up a problem for sections of the left that are wary of opposing Islamist
ideology thanks to residual colonial guilt, the honourable desire to respect
other cultures and some perceived common causes with some Islamist groups.
a result, when I have identified as a secular Muslim feminist and argued that
Taliban are a danger to women, I have been accused by both Islamic
fundamentalists and certain leftists of being a “mouthpiece”, and a “sellout”
who supports western imperialism.
often the outside world adopts broad generalisations about the deeply complex
political, historical and social history and issues that have shaped the
cultural milieu of Afghan women. We need to understand that the goals and
desires of Afghan women may not precisely match the “freedoms” envisioned by
do Afghan women actually want?
the end, against all this background noise, the actual voices of Afghan women
are often silenced. It may be easier for outsiders, but sticking neat cultural
representations of the “victimised Muslim woman” over messier historical and
political narratives gets us nowhere.
it’s not helpful to ignore the dangers faced by Afghan women and the oppression
of Muslim women in general. But it’s important to acknowledge the vastly
different social, economic and political dynamics that have created the
contexts in which these women live.
also important to understand that “Muslim women” are not a fixed, static or
homogenous group. And we need to ask ourselves about what we actually mean when
we use words like “agency” and “victimisation”. The reality is far more
need to recognise that Afghan women (a varied group), might want different
things than what westerners (also a varied group) might want for them. We need
to acknowledge that, with or without the Taliban, Afghan women are the only
ones who are able to resist their oppressive conditions. Therefore, we should
listen to how they believe we can best help.
Afghanistan, a Girls’ School Is the Story of a Village
Ahmed smears a cement mixture to strengthen the walls of her war-ravaged home
in rural Afghanistan. Her hands, worn by the labour, are bandaged with plastic
scraps and elastic bands, but no matter, she welcomes the new era of peace
under the Taliban.
was once apprehensive of the group’s severe style of rule in her village of
Salar. But being caught in the crosshairs of a two-decade long war has granted
her a new perspective.
control comes with limits, even for women, and that is alright, the 45-year-old
said. “With these restrictions we can live our lives at least.”
she draws the line on one point: Her daughters, ages 13, 12 and 6, must go to
a bird’s eye view, the village of Salar is camouflaged against a towering
mountain range in Wardak province. The community of several thousand, nearly 70
miles from the capital Kabul, serves as a microcosm of the latest chapter in
Afghanistan’s history — the second round of rule by the Taliban — showing what
has changed and what hasn’t since their first time in power, in the late 1990s.
of Salar, which has been under Taliban hold the past two years, are embracing
the new stability now that the Taliban’s war with the US military and its
Afghan allies is over. Those displaced by fighting are returning home. Still,
they fear a worsening economic crisis and a drought that is keenly felt in a
province where life revolves around the harvest.
Kabul and other cities, public discontent toward the Taliban is focused on
threats to personal freedoms, including the rights of women.
Salar, these barely resonate. The ideological gap between the Taliban
leadership and the rural conservative community is not wide. Many villagers
supported the insurgency and celebrated the Aug. 15 fall of Kabul which
consolidated Taliban control across the country.
even in Salar, changes are afoot, beginning with the villagers’ insistence on
their local elementary school for girls.
insistence helped push the Taliban to accept a new, small school, funded by
international donors. But what the school will become — a formal public school
paving the way to higher education, a religious madrasa, or something in
between — is uncertain, like the future of the village and the country.
8 a.m., 38 small faces framed by veils are seated on a carpeted floor looking
up at their teacher, Qari Wali Khan. With a stick in hand and furrowed brow, he
calls on the girls to recite from the Quran.
10, is the unlucky first. Merely three words of classical Arabic escape her
lips when Wali Khan interrupts, correcting her pronunciation. When she repeats
again, he exclaims, “Afarin!” — “Excellent,” in Pashtu.
three hours, the students, ages 9-12, will cover Quranic memorization,
mathematics, handwriting, and more Islamic study. Homework: What is 105 x 25?
school opened two months ago, marking the first time in 20 years girls in the
village have ever stepped foot in a classroom, or something like it. In the
absence of a building, lessons are held in Wali Khan’s living room.
classes are the product of UN negotiations with the Taliban.
2020, the UN began working on a program to set up girls’ learning centers in
conservative and remote areas, including ones under Taliban control at the
time, like Sayedabad district where Salar is located.
interlocutors were initially reluctant to embrace the idea, but an agreement
was eventually reached in November 2020, said Jeanette Vogelaar, UNICEF’s chief
of education. International funding was secured, $35 million a year for three
years to finance 10,000 such centers.
was delayed by COVID-19. By the time centers were scheduled to open, the
Taliban had taken over in Kabul. To everyone’s surprise, they allowed the
project to go ahead, even using the previous government’s curriculum — though
they have introduced more Islamic learning and insisted on gender segregation
and female teachers.
Khan, a madrasa teacher by training, got the job in Wardak because most
educated women had left for the capital.
program enables girls without formal schooling to complete six grades in three
years. When completed, they should be ready to enter Grade 7.
remains unresolved whether they can continue after that. In most districts, the
Taliban have prohibited girls ages 12-17 from going to public school.
it’s a good start, Vogelaar said. “Based on what we see now, somehow the
Taliban doesn’t seem to be the same as how they behaved before,” she said.
years ago, the Taliban were at the forefront of a deadly campaign targeting
government officials in Wardak, with particular venom reserved for those
campaigning for girls’ schools. Two village elders recounted the shooting death
of Mirajuddin Ahmed, Sayedabad’s director of education and a vocal supporter for
girl’s’ access to education.
public girls’ schools were burned down in 2007 in the province. To this day,
not a single one stands.
they don’t allow girls to go to this school now, there will be an uprising,”
said village elder Abdul Hadi Khan.
shifting attitudes may be part of a broader trend in support of education. In
2000, when the Taliban were last in power, there were just 100,000 girls in
school, out of a total 1 million schoolchildren. Now they are 4 million out of
10 million schoolchildren, according to the UN
villagers wanted no different. They convinced Wali Khan to teach.
put their trust in me, they told me, this is a need in our society,” he said.
might be one reason why the Taliban decided to cooperate; with the economy in
ruins, they could not risk alienating a constituency that supported them
throughout the insurgency.
are concerns of how much the Taliban will shape the schooling. The UN is aware
the Taliban enter villages and insist on more Islamic study, said Vogelaar.
families are not against it, either. Sayedabad district is composed primarily
of Afghanistan’s dominant Pashtun ethnic group, from which the Taliban are
mostly drawn. Religion and conservatism are central to daily village life.
a madrasa-type education “was not the intention,” said Vogelaar.
Khan said he received specific orders from the Taliban-controlled education
directorate in Sayedabad to “include more religious study” in the curriculum.
late October, local Taliban officials came to visit Wali Khan. They wanted to
know how the classes were going.
girls have a hunger to learn,” he told them.
class, 12-year-old Sima runs home, whizzing past Salar’s mud-brick houses, a
cloud of dust in her wake.
father, Nisar, is away picking tomatoes in the fields for 200 afghanis ($2.5) a
day. He is their only breadwinner.
mother, Mina, is still mixing cement.
expects it will be a long time before her home is in one piece again.
rebuilding bit by bit, buying cement bags for the equivalent of $1 whenever she
can. She has accumulated some 100,000 afghanis ($1,100) in debt to relatives
family returned home just a month ago. Only one of the house’s four rooms was
usable. Walls are still riddled with bullet holes.
had fled more than 11 years earlier, moving to the other side of the village
where it was safer. Their home was too dangerous, located on a strategic
incline overlooking Highway One, which connects Kabul to the south and was a
hotbed of insurgent activity throughout the war.
remembers standing out in the cold as American troops inspected their house for
insurgents. By 2007, ambushes of army convoys on the highway became frequent.
Many times, Mina saw army tanks burst into flames from her kitchen window. She
has lost two brothers-in-law.
ruins of an army checkpoint lie above Mina’s home. The Afghan army held it for
18 years, until the Taliban took over the area decisively two years ago.
has made slow progress with the house but fears what will happen as
temperatures drop and market prices rise.
is grappling with an economic crisis after the US froze Afghan assets in line
with international sanctions against the Taliban. Foreign aid that once
accounted for 75 percent of state expenditure has also paused.
has six children and they all need to be fed, she said.
who has returned has a similar story.
won’t find one person in this village who is in a good situation,” said Mahmad
Rizak, 38, standing outside his home with a face flecked with cement.
shortages are taking a toll. The Mohammed Khan Hospital, the only one in the
district, is struggling with a rising number of malnourished newborns wailing
in the maternity ward.
the surgical ward, an unusual museum of mementos hangs on the wall. It consists
of bullets and kidney stones removed from patients — the first from the war,
the second from poor water quality.
you everything about this place,” said Dr. Gul Makia.
has decimated the harvest, leaving many whose lives revolve around tilling the
earth and raising livestock with no means to make a living.
October ends, so does tomato-picking season, and Nisar will be out of work.
joins his wife in mixing cement.
points to the room once occupied by Afghan soldiers, and then Taliban
insurgents after them. “My daughter will become a teacher one day, and we will
make this into a school for her to educate other girls.”
will be our pride,” he said.
relaunches women-dedicated channel YouTube Batala
YouTube has relaunched YouTube Batala, a channel by YouTube in the Middle East
and North Africa region dedicated to spotlighting the next generation of
Arabic-speaking women creators. Currently, YouTube Batala consists of over 250
women-led channels from countries across the region.
Batala is more of a hub than a traditional YouTube channel. It features a
collection of playlists, categorized by genre, with each playlist containing a
variety of creators. The playlists cover gaming, education, beauty and fashion,
wellness, music, and one of the most important genres in terms of growth among
women viewership and content creation, gaming.
creators featured in the playlists were chosen based on a set of factors, which
includes “responsible and impactful content creation, consistency, and whether
their content was made in Arabic,” according to a company statement.
of the things I am in awe of in my role is the immense power and diversity of
the women creator community on YouTube in the MENA region. Not only are these
women creating content that draws in millions of people, they’re also building
communities around ideas, beauty, food, and even general wellbeing,” said Tarek
Amin, director of YouTube MENA.
Batala is part of a larger effort toward supporting women creators across
Arabic-speaking countries, which also includes a series of events and workshops
for women creators to help them further their content in terms of production
Batala is part of our ongoing work, which we started to help more people
discover these emerging storytellers while also celebrating their diversity,
authenticity and impact on YouTube. After all, these women really are the
heroes of their own stories,” added Amin.
content on YouTube in Arabic-speaking countries has witnessed a major shift in
recent years. In 2016, when YouTube first launched the Batala project and other
women-focused events and initiatives, there were only five women-led channels
with more than 1 million subscribers. Today, there are more than 150 women-led
channels, with more than 1 million subscribers in the MENA region.
of YouTube Batala’s most prominent creators are Meshael from Saudi Arabia and
Kafa from Tunisia, leading gaming communities; Manola from Saudi Arabia, who is
taking lifestyle content to the next level by not just reviewing clothes or
posing in them but by also making them; and Nedal from Egypt, who started a
virtual book club on YouTube.
Commits to Long-Term Support for Afghan Mothers and New-borns
—The delivery of reproductive health services, including safe childbirth, has
been seriously impacted in Afghanistan, due to the turmoil surrounding the
Taliban takeover of the country.
36, has experienced firsthand how the dangers of pregnancy, collided with
rising insecurity, according to the UN reproductive and maternal health agency,
UNFPA, which continues to provide lifesaving services on the ground.
mother of four from Zaradnay Village, she visited the district hospital just before
her due date on August 17, to check on the progress of her pregnancy.
ultrasound revealed that the fetus was in a transverse position, meaning it was
lying horizontally rather than head-down, a dangerous complication.
doctor told her she needed a Caesarean section, but Najaba was fearful of the
operation. She left the hospital to give more thought to her situation.
even considered trying to deliver at home. “When the district hospital
discharged me, I decided to do the delivery at home with support of my mother,”
Najaba told UNFPA.
in the following days, growing insecurity caused many health facilities to
close – including the district hospital.
realized that if the delivery proved complicated, she would be unable to seek
called her mother in desperation. Her mother called many of the women elders in
their community to seek advice. Finally, Najaba recalled, “My relative called
me and informed me about a small clinic.”
was the nearby Ghuchan Family Health House, a UNFPA-supported facility where a
community midwife was still providing services to pregnant women.
long after, Najaba went into labor. With her mother and husband, she rushed to
the family health house. There, the midwife took her medical history, conducted
a physical examination and listened to her concerns.
Najaba expressed anxiety about the delivery, the midwife comforted her and said
she would try to deliver the baby without any surgical procedure.
hours later, a healthy baby was born naturally.
skilled midwife had been able to avoid a Caesarean section, and Najaba and the
baby were both healthy enough to be discharged soon after.
was relieved to safely welcome her fifth baby, and her family was overjoyed.
Najaba returned to the midwife for postnatal care and neonatal services for the
and her family say they plan to recommend the family health house to all
pregnant women who they may meet in the future.
family health house, located in Shahristan district in eastern Daikundi
Province, provides life-saving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health
is one of 172 family health houses in geographically remote villages where
people have little access to health services.
support from UNFPA and local communities, these facilities have been able to
continue operating, or to reopen after a short closure, even amid the ongoing
include prenatal care, safe delivery, antenatal care, family planning,
nutrition services and integrated management of childhood illnesses services to
children under five. — UN News
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