UN urges Taliban to reverse NGO female worker ban

Afghan women chant slogans in protest against the closure of universities to women by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, 22 December, 2022Reuters

The acting head of the United Nations’ mission to Afghanistan told the Taliban administration’s acting economy minister to reverse a decision to ban female NGO workers during a meeting, according to a statement on Monday.

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Afghan female students walk near Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan on 21 December, 2022.

“Millions of Afghans need humanitarian assistance and removing barriers is vital,” UNAMA said in the statement, adding that UNAMA’s acting head and humanitarian coordinator Ramiz Alakbarov had met with economy minister Mohammad Hanif.

Hanif’s ministry on Saturday ordered all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) not to let female staff work until further notice.

The orders do not apply directly to the United Nations, but many of its programmes are carried out by NGOs subject to the order.

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