Thursday, May 23, 2024
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On Sunday, foreign aid groups in Afghanistan suspended their operations after the Taliban banned women from working in NGOs, according to news agency AP. “Save the Children,” “Norwegian Refugee Council,” and “CARE” all stated that they cannot effectively serve children, women, and men in the country without their female employees.

This ban on women in NGOs follows the Taliban’s recent prohibition on women attending universities. On Saturday, the Taliban-run Afghanistan government ordered all domestic and international non-governmental organizations to prevent female employees from coming to work. According to Abdulrahman Habib, spokesperson for the Economy Ministry, female employees have been barred from working until further notice due to alleged violations of the administration’s understanding of the Islamic dress code for women.

These restrictions on women have caused outrage and protests, with Afghanistan being described as “a hell for women.” Minister for Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadeem issued an order stating, “You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending education of females until further notice.”

Neil Turner, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Chief for Afghanistan, commented on the ban on female employees, saying, “We have complied with all cultural norms and we simply can’t work without our dedicated female staff, who are essential for us to access women who are in desperate need of assistance.”

The university ban has also received widespread international condemnation from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The United States and the G-7 have also warned that the policy will have consequences for the Taliban. Despite initially promising a more moderate administration that would protect the rights of women and minorities, the Taliban has implemented its interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, since assuming control in August 2021.

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