What Will Happen to the Women of Afghanistan?

Your coverage of the Afghan conflict in the Opinion page article "Consequences in Kabul," April 29, is as thoughtful as all of your ongoing coverage of this strange, anachronistic civil war. But I have been looking in vain for any mention of what is gong to happen to the women of Afghanistan.

The provisional government has asked all government workers to stay at their posts to ensure that all essential services continue. Yet it is my understanding that a large percentage of civil servants, teachers, and other professionals are women, appointed by the Marxist government both on principle and because of the shortage of men.

With the fundamentalists in power, even the so-called "moderate fundamentalists," what woman would be brave enough to go to work? And if the fundamentalists do what I fully expect they will, that is, punish all those who were part of the Marxist establishment, who will run that unhappy country?

The war has already removed what few rights rural and small-city women used to have. What will now happen to the urban and educated women of the capital, Kabul? Laina Farhat, San Francisco

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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