[Dr Hajira] has dedicated her life to helping save women’s lives.
And a new army of midwives is slowly being trained to start bringing modern practises to this battle.
In a programme run by the Aga Khan Foundation, young women are chosen by their villages, given approval by their husbands or fathers, and come to Faizabad for an 18-month course.
Eighteen-year-old Masuma , already a mother with two children, will return to her village in Shahr-e Bozorg.
“It was a community decision and I want to be a midwife to serve my people,” she says.
She and a dozen other young women in white medical coats and pale blue caps watch intently as their teacher Farzana Darakhuna demonstrates with a rubber infant how to deliver a baby safely.
Farzana sees progress: “In the past, men wouldn’t think of taking their wife to a clinic. They used to think if they took her there, there might be many men, and her dignity wouldn’t be protected.”
In this conservative society, changing women’s lives means changing men’s too.