Women in Afghanistan have faced various types of restrictions including a ban on females working in NGOs and female students attending school grades 7-12 and universities.
The Ministry of Economy in a letter announced that the work of all female employes at NGOs was suspended until further notice.
The decision faced strong reactions from the international community. However, the interim government’s officials said that the ban was not permanent.
“Currently, the government of the Islamic Emirate wants to create work and even education opportunities for all Afghan sisters and brothers inside the country based on an Islamic format and Afghan tradition and Sharia. The work is underway in this regard, and we hope to fix it soon,” said deputy Foreign Minister, Sher Mohammad Abas Stanekzai.
Following the female worker ban, several UN and other humanitarian officials paid visits to Afghanistan.
Many aid organizations halted their operations, saying that women make up more than 30 percent of their staff.
The UN also warned that aid will decrease if the decision of the caretaker government is not changed.
“Funding for Afghanistan is likely to drop if women are not allowed to work. NGOs run by women, for example, have had to cease activities. If the amount of assistance is reduced, then the amount of US dollar cash shipments required to support that assistance will also decline,” said Roz Otunbayeva.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths arrived in Kabul in December 2022.
While briefing a UN meeting about his visit to Afghanistan, Griffiths, said that he was told by people he met in Afghanistan that the “Taliban authorities” are in the process of "producing guidelines” that will effectively indicate how the edict is intended to work, and that the guidelines will be forthcoming by March.
“We were told by all we met that the Taliban authorities are in a process of producing guidelines which will effectively ... set out the way which that edict is intended to work. We were told that these guidelines would be beneficial and we were told that these guidelines would probably be forthcoming by March,” Griffiths said.
But the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that ban on females working in the NGOs is not aiming to take a stand against women but is a Sharia issue.
“The goal is not to stand against women. But the goal is to implement Islamic law to preserve the pride and dignity of Afghan women,” he said.
The restrictions on Afghan women have been repeatedly criticized by the international community.
Political experts and women’s rights activists said that the restrictions on women undermined the relations of the Islamic Emirate with the international community.
“The policies of the Islamic Emirate about education and work of women have caused problems for the Afghans inside and outside of the country. It has almost isolated the Islamic Emirate. It caused problems against the recognition as well,” said Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, a political analyst.
After the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan, more than 20 edicts were issued about women.
Comment this post