One has to start somewhere and even allowing the little things, like women performing in the orchestra is a good start. Progress is always a good thing and Afghan women will have to be patient and accept these small changes for what they are. This country has a long cultural history and change does not come easy.
Slowly but surely, it appears that women's rights are shifting for the better in the Middle East. That is not to say treatment of women in the region is anywhere near what it should be, but their rights are progressing, not regressing (at least for the moment). It will be interesting to see how this develops in the future given the growing prominence of internet access.
With the United States having a presence in Afghanistan for many years now, Afghan lives are improving, slowly but surely. Women know that they can play in an orchestra or go to school. They know that with the United States, they are safe from Pakistan and other threats that might come from nearby.
It's hard to say that anyone's life is better living in the current events of such violence that continue to rampage through the Middle East. However, a quote comes to mind: "Those who are willing to give up freedom for the sake of security deserve neither freedom nor security." I imagine that freedom is what everybody wants, including Afghan women, and I would be hard-pressed to say that, with all of the progressive ideals being (rightly or wrongly) induced and oftentimes literally forced into their nation, women today feel less free or less emboldened then in years past.