The Wider Image: Young Afghan women train as midwives for out-of-reach villages
A Taliban flag waves in front of the ruins of a 1500-year-old Buddha statue, which was blown up by the Islamist group in 2001 in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, March 2, 2023. Since taking over in 2021, Taliban authorities have barred women from universities and most charity jobs, but they have made exemptions in the healthcare sector, such as the trainee midwife program that has been spearheaded by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) with a local NGO, where young women train for two years in the provincial capital hospital as midwives, after which they will return home to help the women in the community. "When the roads are blocked of course there is no means of transportation, people even use donkeys to move the patients to the clinic centres, but sometimes there is not even the opportunity for that," said Mohammad Ashraf Niazi, the head of UNHCR's Bamiyan office. "These students can help in each village, in each district with deliveries." REUTERS/Ali Khara SEARCH "KHARA MIDWIVES" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.