Brain drain: Afghanistan set back decades as professional women ...

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Brain drain: Afghanistan set back decades as professional women flee

From judges to midwives, thousands have gone into reluctant exile, leaving an unfillable hole for those who remain

Emma Batha and Shadi Khan Saif

Marzia has dedicated the past decade to treating some of Kabul’s poorest women, but the midwife has now packed up her stethoscope along with a few precious photos, ahead of leaving Afghanistan with her husband and son.

The health worker is part of a major brain drain of professional women — entrepreneurs, lawyers, scientists, journalists and more — that many predict will set the country back decades.

“I am not leaving happily, but with a broken heart,” said Marzia, who asked not to use her full name. “So many educated and professional women like me are leaving because of threats to our lives. But this will be devastating for the country in the long term.”..

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