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Only place in Afghanistan where Taliban allows men, women work together

Only place in Afghanistan where Taliban allows men, women work together

DAYMIRDAD, Afghanistan: In Tangi Saidan in Wardak, a village in the mountains of central Afghanistan which is excluded from the Afghanistan government rule after the US invasion in 2001 and has been under the Taliban rule for over a quarter of a century, there are no restrictions on women in working along with men in a vital health clinic.

The clinic in the region is the only place where a facility for the surgery in compulsion is available and for the same reason, Taliban leaders have no qualm with women nurses in working with men health workers, according to a report published in Arab News.

The Taliban has a flexible stance there in the movement's rules on the segregation of the sexes.

There are no other medical facilities left in the region for villagers to approach in emergency cases because of which they dare to walk mountainous and rocky roads for hours carrying patients and the snow in the winter make the attempt more dangerous.

Since to reach Kabul for better health facilities take a day trip on rocky and winding roads, the village clinic is the only place for these impoverished mountain villagers to seek shelter for medical emergencies.

Sharif Shah, a man and the only surgeon, who carries out procedures on women, was quoted by AFP as saying that in the limited facilities at the clinic, he is compelled to do surgery to save women from dying. There are seven women among the clinic's 28 staff members: one nurse, a vaccine specialist, two midwives, a nutritionist and two cleaners, often working side by side with men, the report said.

A Taliban official in charge of health care in Daymirdad district said on their amiability at male and female working together that in needy situations, the exceptions are permitted with the Islamic laws.

The Taliban, who seized power in August as US-led forces withdrew from Afghanistan, have yet to issue clear guidelines on how they will govern in line with sharia law. They initially ordered women to refrain from returning to work until Islamic systems were in place.

The group later called women health workers back to clinics and hospitals, but many were too afraid to resume their duties.

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