Afghanistan's Taliban rulers ordered all national and international NGOs to stop their women employees from working after "serious complaints" about their dress code, the Ministry of Economy told AFP on Saturday.
"There have been serious complaints regarding the non-observance of the Islamic hijab and other rules and regulations pertaining to the work of females in national and international organisations," said a notification sent to all NGOs, a copy of which was obtained by AFP and confirmed by a ministry spokesman.
"The ministry of economy ... instructs all organisations to stop females working until further notice," the notification said.
Saturday's order came less than a week after the minister of higher education banned women from attending universities, prompting global outrage.
Since the hardline Islamists seized power in August last year, they have imposed harsh restrictions on women -- effectively squeezing them out of public life.