Taliban order NGOs to ban female employees from going to work

Taliban order NGOs to ban female employees from going to work
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  • Taliban order NGOs to stop female staff from working
  • It occurs after the suspension of students from universities
  • The UN says the order would be a violation of humanitarian principles
  • UN plans to meet with the Taliban to seek clarity

KABUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government ordered all local and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on Saturday to prevent female employees from going to work, according to a letter from the Economy Ministry, in the last report. suppression of women’s liberties.

The letter, confirmed by Economy Ministry spokesman Abdulrahman Habib, said the female employees were not allowed to work until further notice because some had not adhered to the government’s interpretation of the Islamic dress code for women.

It comes days after the Taliban-led administration ordered universities to close to women, drawing global condemnation and sparking some protests and strong criticism inside Afghanistan.

Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan and humanitarian coordinator, said he was “deeply concerned” by the letter’s reports that it was a “clear violation of humanitarian principles.”

It was not immediately clear how the order would affect UN agencies, which have a large presence in Afghanistan providing services amid the country’s humanitarian crisis.

The UN office for humanitarian affairs said the United Nations would try to meet with Taliban leaders to “get clarity on the reported order.”

Norway’s Chargé d’Affaires, which funds aid in Afghanistan and organized talks between the Taliban and members of civil society in January, condemned the move.

“Ban on female NGO employees must be reversed immediately,” Paul Klouman Bekken tweeted. “In addition to being a blow to women’s rights, this move will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and harm the most vulnerable Afghans.”

Asked if the rules included UN agencies, Habib said the letter applied to organizations under Afghanistan’s coordinating body for humanitarian organizations known as ACBAR. That body does not include the United Nations, but includes more than 180 local and international NGOs.

However, the United Nations often contracts with NGOs registered in Afghanistan to carry out its humanitarian work.

Aid workers say women workers are critical to ensuring women can access aid.

Afghanistan’s already struggling economy has been in crisis since the Taliban seized power in 2021, and the country faces sanctions and cuts in development aid.

Humanitarian aid, intended to meet urgent needs, has provided a lifeline to millions of people. More than half of Afghanistan’s population depends on humanitarian aid, according to the International Rescue Committee.

Kabul Newsroom Report Edited by Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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