3 foreign NGOs suspend Afghan operations after Taliban ban on women

Three major NGOs on Sunday announced a stop to their operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban banned local women from working for them, media reports said.

In a joint statement, Care International, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Save the Children said they would be unable to continue their work “without our female staff” and sought that women be allowed to continue working for them, the BBC said.

The three said the organisations “would not have jointly reached millions of Afghans in need since August 2021” were it not for their female staff.

“Whilst we gain clarity on this announcement, we are suspending our programmes, demanding that men and women can equally continue our lifesaving assistance in Afghanistan,” their statement added.

Taliban’s latest diktat on NGOs came just days after it banned women from attending university.

Taliban government spokesman Abdel Rahman Habib claimed female workers at the foreign aid groups had broken dress codes by not wearing hijabs.

The Taliban also threatened to cancel the licence of any organisation that did not swiftly comply with the ban.

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