OIC condemns Taliban ban on women working for NGOs in Afghanistan

Says the ban is ‘self-defeating and disserving the interests of Afghan people’

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA:
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday condemned the Afghan Taliban’s announcement, which ordered all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to stop their women staff from working, saying that the ban is “self-defeating and disserving the interests of Afghan people”.

The statement issued on the cooperation’s official Twitter handle stated that OIC Secretary-General, H.E. Hissein Brahim Taha expressed his concern over the reported ban, adding that the “move reflects a willful policy by the de facto leadership apparently seeking to further impact Afghan women’s rights”.


The secretary-general further pointed out that the ban will seriously “affect humanitarian and relief operations conducted by a wide network of national and international non-governmental organizations in favor of vulnerable Afghan communities”.

He further urged the de facto authorities to “revisit this decision for the sake of social inclusion of women”.

Afghanistan’s Taliban-run administration on December 24 ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop female employees from coming to work, according to an economy ministry letter, in the latest crackdown on women’s freedoms.

The Ministry of Economy threatened to suspend the operating licences of NGOs if they failed to implement the order.

The ministry, which issues these licences, said it had received “serious complaints” that women working in NGOs were not observing a proper Islamic dress code.

Following the order, three foreign aid groups, including Save the Children, announced that they were suspending their operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban order.

The announcement came as top officials from the United Nations and dozens of NGOs operating in Afghanistan met in Kabul to discuss a way ahead after the Taliban’s latest restriction delivered a blow to humanitarian work across the country.

The order issued by the Taliban authorities drew swift international condemnation, with governments and organisations warning of the impact on humanitarian services in a country where millions rely on aid.

The latest restriction comes less than a week after the Taliban banned women from attending universities, prompting global outrage and protests in some Afghan cities.

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