During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Christian aid group International Assistance Mission was forced to stop working anywhere outside the capital. Under the mujaheddin government that followed, the group’s medical teams had to negotiate with separate warring factions for safe passage across rocket-strafed Kabul just to travel from their homes to the eye clinic. The Taliban, when it came to power, prohibited the organization’s female staff members from working in the same office as men.

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