The radical Islamic Taliban in Afghanistan continue to restrict women’s rights. All aid organizations have been instructed to ban their employees from coming to work.
Since taking power again in August 2021, the radical Islamic Taliban have been pushing women out of public life. Only recently they banned female students from the university. The Ministry of Economy has now instructed all aid organizations in the country to prohibit their female employees from coming to work. This applies to all domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations.
The female employees are not allowed to work until further notice because some of them have not followed the interpretation of the Islamic dress code for women, a spokesman said. Those who do not comply will have their license revoked.
Whether the order also applies to organizations of the United Nations, which are strongly represented in Afghanistan, remained open. The spokesman said the order applied to the organizations operating under Afghanistan’s Acbar Coordinating Authority. This includes around 180 local and international NGOs, but not the UN. However, the United Nations often outsources tasks to organizations registered in Afghanistan. Aid providers explained that female employees are often important so that women have access to help.
Flashing “deeply concerned”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “deeply concerned” on Twitter on Saturday evening. This ban on women will disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. “Women play a central role in humanitarian relief efforts around the world,” said Blinken. Such a decision could have devastating consequences for the people of Afghanistan.