HomeUnited NationsEL and top aid officials slam Afghan rulers’ NGO ban for women

EL and top aid officials slam Afghan rulers’ NGO ban for women

© UNHCR/Oxygen Film Business (AFG A female Afghan volunteer involved in a UNHCR-supported education task in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. © UNICEF/Mihalis Gripiotis

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Their work must keep on, the UN and NGO principals said, as “teachers, nutrition experts, team commanders, community health workers, vaccinators, nurses, doctors, and heads of organizations”. In particular, this was since “they have access to populations that will their man colleagues cannot reach ”, they explained, whilst also insisting that Afghan women humanitarians “save lives”.

Backsliding on progress

This latest order forbidding women from working in NGOs “will not only deprive all of them and their families of earnings but will also completely erase their only social life and deny them an opportunity to contribute to the country’s development, ” the CEDAW professionals said. In a  strongly worded statement , the  UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women   ( CEDAW ) also warned that the Taliban’s latest decree jeopardised many basic rights in Afghanistan. Female staff had helped UNHCR reach over 6 million Afghans since August 2021, said Mr. Grandi. “With so many other restrictions on women, this new decree will have a devastating impact on Afghanistan’s inhabitants. ”

A million women and girls face aid cuts

UN refugee agency head Filippo Grandi also condemned the Taliban decree. The newest directive also risks pushing more families to flee across the borders as refugees, he continued, as he described that women NGO workers across Afghanistan’s 34 provinces are actually “at the forefront associated with efforts to find solutions for Afghans affected by four decades of conflict and persecution, including millions of refugees and internally displaced people”. Some aid programs have already had to stop briefly, owing to a lack of female personnel, at a time when more than 28 million people in Afghanistan need “assistance to survive” the brutal winter, financial collapse and the risk associated with famine, the agency principals noted. Since Mar, Afghanistan’s  de facto   authorities have got barred an estimated one million girls from attending high school over the past year, and on twenty December, female students learned that they could no longer go to university.

A nurse stands in the neonatal ward at a hospital in Gardez, Afghanistan.
“Banning women from humanitarian work has immediate life-threatening consequences for all Afghans, ” they insisted.

The damage could take decades to reverse, the UNDP Administrator said, as he added that women’s work in Afghanistan amounted to over billion dollars in household income.

“The newest restrictions will force the UNHCR in order to temporarily stop critical actions in support of Afghan people, especially women and children, ” he added. Warning that the move would “jeopardise the entire country for generation”, the experts also called for the immediate discharge of women reportedly arrested during protests that were triggered by university ban.

Rights abuses known as out

“With the most recent ban on universities, the nation is now excluding half of its population from normal education, creating one of the world’s greatest gender gaps, ” someone said. According to UNHCR, several 3. 4 million individuals are displaced inside Afghanistan, together with another 2 . 9 mil refugees living outside the nation. “This ban must be lifted”,   Mr. Grandi insisted , noting that more than 500 women staff work with his agency’s 19 NGO companions in Afghanistan, where these people serve nearly one million women and girls.

A female Afghan volunteer engaged in a UNHCR-supported education project in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
A nurse stands in the neonatal ward at a hospital in Gardez, Afghanistan.

Echoing the  message   of the UN Secretary-General that the NGO ban will undermine the work of all companies in Afghanistan in helping the most vulnerable communities, the head of the UN Development Program ( UNDP ), Achim Steiner, stated that the latest restriction would “ accelerate Afghanistan’s backslide ” into low income.

Nation jeopardised ‘for a generation’

“Removing women from the public sphere of education and livelihoods could result in an immediate and significant loss in order to millions of Afghans in poor households which are already facing severe challenges, ” he maintained. In a joint statement that followed Saturday’s reported decree by the Taliban that will Afghan women must cease working for NGOs, the top EL officials insisted female staff were “key to every facet of the humanitarian response within Afghanistan”. “Their exclusion also means millions of women and ladies could be left out of the humanitarian response , which is critically important to the country where about six million people are at risk of famine. ”

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