Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Islamic Emirate has been prohibiting women from “operating as aid workers,” which worsens the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban’s severe restrictions on women aid workers are preventing desperately needed lifesaving aid from reaching Afghans, especially women, girls, and women-headed households,” said Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Permitting women aid workers to do their jobs unfettered is not a matter of agencies or donors placing conditions on humanitarian assistance, but an operational necessity for delivering that assistance.”
According to HRW, only three out of 34 provinces officially allowed female workers to operate.
“The document, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, indicates that, as of October 28, 2021, Taliban officials in only three provinces had provided a written agreement unconditionally permitting women aid workers to do their jobs,” the report said. “In over half the country, women aid workers face severe restrictions, such as requirements for a male family member to escort them while they do their jobs, making it difficult or impossible for them to do their job effectively.”
“This deprives the women and children who are in dire need in the far provinces, and this also intensifies the crisis,” said Zarqqa Yaftali, a women's rights defender.
“The Islamic Emirate should cooperate with the United Nations in Afghanistan to get recognition and the (UN) will continue its assistance to the people,” said Soman, a civil rights activist.
The Islamic Emirate said that it was committed to providing security for the aid organizations in Afghanistan.
“We assure all foreign aid (organizations) that their security will be ensured in Afghanistan and that they should not be worried about their personal security and should continue their cooperation with people who are in need in Afghanistan,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
This comes as some female US Senate members in a letter asked US President Biden to form a procedure for the protection of Afghan women.