“It was not a difficult decision for me to stay. I have my own department. If they request a plan, I will provide it. The Taliban leadership wants me to work for them, and I am ready,”

 Two women from different walks of life — one a rebel, the other a bureaucrat — face an unknown future in Afghanistan. One decided to work with the Taliban, the other is determined to fight them. Both vow they will never leave their homeland, AP reports.

Karima Mayar Amiri, 54, heads a department in the Taliban-run Health Ministry. She is among the few women able to retain a leadership position in the new government’s bureaucracy and believes Afghans must be served no matter who is at the helm.

Many years her junior, Rishmin Juyunda, 26, could not disagree more. Afghan women will never be served with the Taliban in power, she says. The rights activist is part of an underground network determined to fight harsh Taliban policies that restrict women’s freedom.

They represent a broad spectrum of women who have remained in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan after many fled, fearing a return to the brutal repression that marked the group’s previous rule in the late 1990s. The international community has linked recognition of a Taliban government to factors such as guarantees for women’s rights.

© Copyright LaPresse