H ajera gave birth to her daughter, Sarah, in Kabul two weeks after the Taliban took over Afghanistan last summer. Hajera is 35 and worked as a government economist. She and her husband already had two sons and were happy to be welcoming a daughter. But they soon lost their jobs, and the Taliban erased the rights women had gained over the previous two decades. An Afghan women's-rights activist had connected me with Hajera, who was too afraid to share her last name. "We had a job," she told me. "We had money. We had a home. We had a country. We had a family." Now, she said, "we have nothing." Afghanistan is, once again, the worst place in the world to be a woman. I asked her: What did she hope would happen now? " Hich omid nist ," she said. There is no hope. I was born in 1999, two years before the September 11 attacks and the subsequent invasion of my country. For Afghan women, the overthrow of the Taliban marked the beginning of a luckier time. Schools were opened to girls. Women were no longer imprisoned at home—they were allowed to work, and would no longer… Read full this story
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