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Roll On: The Plight Of Women In Afghanistan

By September 16, 2021January 23rd, 2024No Comments
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Episode #628



The current plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule is a human rights catastrophe.

In a departure from our typical ‘Roll On’ format, the gravamen of today’s episode focuses on the very grave predicament faced by the 18 million Afghan women in the wake of the United States withdrawal. To guide us in this important conversation, we are joined by podcast alums Drs. Ayesha & Dean Sherzai.

Experts on brain health, Alzheimer’s, and neurodegenerative diseases, Drs. Sherzai have twice graced this show for deep dives on maintaining and optimizing cognitive function. Under-explored until now is Ayesha & Dean’s considerable first-hand experience with Afghanistan.

“The women of Afghanistan are just like your mothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors. And they are suffering.”


In 2003 President Karzai appointed Dean Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Health, creating one of the most successful post-conflict healthcare systems with women’s empowerment at its core. Ayesha founded the Social Welfare Society for Afghan Refugees in medical school, volunteered with Doctors Without Borders’ in Afghanistan during her medical training, and co-founded the Afghan Health Initiative.

Specific topics discussed in today’s episode include:

  • The history of women’s rights in Afghanistan;
  • the downstream human rights implications of the U.S. withdrawal;
  • the role that fear plays in female oppression;
  • using healthcare as a catalyst for women’s empowerment;
  • what we can be done to aid women in Afghanistan; and
  • how to support female Afghan artists, scientists, politicians & leaders.

The visually inclined can watch our exchange on YouTube. And as always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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