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Brain drain of bright Afghan women taking place amid fear of Taliban return: Report

May 27, 2012 - Kabul

A brain drain of bright young women is taking place in Afghanistan before the 2014 handover, as most of them fear that Taliban-style rule would return to the country after of NATO forces withdraw.

The lack of commitment by the Afghan Government to promote equality and to tackle the high rate of ill-treatment of women, is raising fears they will be at the bottom of the political agenda in the push for power after foreign troops leave the country.

A recent survey by the charity ActionAid suggests that 86 percent of Afghan women fear a return of Taliban-style rule.

One in five is worried about the education of their daughters, but 72 percent said their lives were better now than it was a decade ago.

Guhramaana Kakar, a gender adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, pointed out that negotiations between the government, the Taliban and other insurgent groups were ignoring women's rights.

"Women do want the progress that has been made over the past 10 years to continue, but they are being kept away from the political processes," The Guardian quoted Kakar, as saying.

"All Afghans, men and women, want a country without foreign troops, but I think the international community should be putting women on the agenda and making sure their security and freedoms are secured, directly and indirectly," Kakar added.

According to the report, worsening security for civilians, casualties among ordinary Afghans have risen year on year for the last five years with 3,021 killed in 2011.

Kakar pointed out that women are thought to be suffering disproportionately, which has led to rising numbers of women and girls leaving education and the workforce and staying indoors.


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