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Former Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs with ties to Houston in hiding as Taliban takes over

Hasina Safi has fought for women's rights in Afghanistan for years. With the Taliban back in control, her family fears for her life and the future of women there.

HOUSTON — A Houston family is hoping their cousin stays alive as chaos continues to unfold in Afghanistan.

"There's a lot of uncertainty at this point, and I think that uncertainty breeds fear," said Hoda Sana, an Afghan American living in Houston.

Sana's cousin is Hasina Safi, Minister of Women's Affairs in the former Afghan government. She and many other family remembers remain in Afghanistan.

"All Afghan people, especially women and children, are targets at this point," Sana said.

Now with the Taliban in control, that means her cousin is especially at risk.

"She's currently in hiding," Sana said.

For years, Safi has fought for women's rights, education and opportunities in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban, the progress made could all be in jeopardy.

"She's very scared. She's nervous," Sana said. "She's not quite as scared about her own security as much as she's worried about the state of her country for Afghan women. She spent her entire life working for Afghan women and our future and feels her entire career is a loss."

The uncertainty is growing, but there are signs of resistance as Afghans have begun to take to the streets protesting against a return to Taliban rule.

"We're trying to cope with our emotions through all of this," Sana said. "Just waiting to see as everyday unfolds what's new."

KHOU 11 tried speaking with the former minister but were unable to do so due to security concerns. Safi has had opportunities to leave Afghanistan but has decided to stay put and help her people any way she can.

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