More NGOs stop working in Afghanistan after Taliban bans female staff

The ban is the latest blow to women’s rights. (representative)


Christian Aid and ActionAid on Monday became the latest foreign aid organizations to suspend operations in Afghanistan after the country’s Taliban rulers ordered all NGOs to stop working with female staff.

The two organizations announced the suspension of operations in the country bringing the number of institutions to six.

Global Programs Director Ray Hassan said in a statement that Christian Aid “is swiftly seeking clarification … and urging the authorities to lift the ban.”

“While we do this, unfortunately we are pausing our project work,” he added.

ActionAid said that if women were banned from working with the group, it would “prevent us from reaching half of the population that is already struggling with hunger”.

“ActionAid has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the majority of its programs in Afghanistan until a clearer picture emerges,” it said in a statement.

At Save the Children on Sunday, both the Norwegian Refugee Council and CARE announced a moratorium on operations.

The International Rescue Committee, which provides emergency response in health, education and other areas and employs 3,000 women across Afghanistan, also said it would suspend services.

“Millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation,” Christian Aid’s Hassan said Monday.

“Reports of families so desperate that they are forced to sell their children to buy food are heartbreaking,” he said, adding that banning female aid workers “will only diminish our ability to help more and more people in need.” .

The ban is the latest blow to women’s rights in Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power last year.

It came less than a week after hardline Islamists banned women from college, sparking global outrage and protests in some Afghan cities.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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