Women in health care in Afghanistan have been urged by the Taliban to return their jobs, a spokesman said Friday as pressure on public services mounts after many trained Afghans fled the country after the militant group took power.

Women have been prevented from going to work and have even been dismissed from office, raising fears that the movement will repeat the attitude of its previous government two decades ago when women were not allowed to work.

However, increasing complaints about staff shortages in the fragile health system seem to have turned around.

“The Ministry of Health of the Islamic Emirates advises all female employees in the center and in the provinces to go to work regularly,” said a statement by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“They will not be hindered from fulfilling their duties from the Islamic Emirate,” he said.

Since entering Kabul on August 15, the Taliban have struggled to restore basic services. Many specialists associated with the West-backed government are fleeing the country or staying at home for fear of reprisals.