The International Crisis Group said in a new report that the latest restrictions imposed by the Islamic Emirate have dealt women’s freedoms a "grievous blow" in Afghanistan and that they are also impeding delivery of life-saving assistance, disrupting the world’s largest aid operation even as half the population suffers from acute hunger.
“The unrecognized regime’s isolation undermines humanitarian and development efforts,” the report said. “It may result in drastic aid cuts.”
The report highlighted the economic and political situation of Afghanistan.
The report said that the “Taliban restrictions on women’s rights deepen Afghanistan’s crisis.”
“The Taliban’s worsening behaviour risks provoking abrupt cut-offs of international aid that would profoundly harm millions of Afghans. Western policymakers must stand up for Afghan women and girls. At the same time, they should be careful to avoid self-defeating policies,” the report reads. “Practical steps that materially benefit Afghan women, improving their lives in tangible ways, would be superior to angry denunciations of the Taliban’s wrongheadedness.”
Last month, the Ministry of Economy in a decree ordered NGOs to suspend the work of female employees until next notice.
“The women and girls who are earning wages, they almost provide 100 percent for their families,” said Suraya Paikan, a women’s rights activist.
The report said the conversations among western officials about aid cannot be put off forever if the international community wants to see a stable Afghanistan.
“The regime has earned such opprobrium that Western officials cancelled or delayed plans to discuss investments in infrastructure, but these conversations cannot be put off forever if international actors wish to see Afghanistan stabilize,” the report cited. “High-level engagement with the Taliban is necessary to draft the outlines of a plan for a path to recovery. A plan for Afghan self-sufficiency should start with the water, electricity, transport and other projects halted when the Taliban took over in 2021. These plans build on the previous government’s consultations with Afghan women and men about their needs; any elaboration should, where possible, create opportunities for inclusion of Afghan women in project design and implementation.”
According to the organization, some humanitarian officials predicted “hundreds of thousands” of deaths as vital assistance slowed. Reductions in aid were reported for 11.6 million women and girls, although in some cases the interruptions were temporary.
“Among the most vulnerable were one million people requiring assistance to get through one of the harshest winters in years,” the report said.
“The restriction on women’s working and education has played a role in the rise of poverty among families in the country,” said Shabir Basheeri, an economist.
“To save ourselves from this crisis of economic and livelihood affairs, and to move forward toward economic self-sufficiency, there is an initial need for a legitimated and proper state,” said Azeraksh Hafizi, an economist.
The Islamic Emirate’s Spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid said that efforts are underway to improve the economy of Afghanistan.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan tries to stand the Afghan economy on its feet. We have brought all options under focus in this regard. The activities of women and some other issues doesn’t have a major affect on the economy,” he said.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that more than 28 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.