Taliban Ban on Women; NGOs Receive Disturbing Calls

Afghanistan is World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis

On December 24, Afghan’s Taliban  government barred women from working in local and international humanitarian organizations. reports said that Taliban ordered all foreign and domestic non-governmental groups (NGOs) in Afghanistan to suspend employing women after reportedly receiving “serious complaints” about their dress code.

Let us look at some of the issues related to the Ban.

The Taliban-led Ministry of Economy ordered all national and international non-government organizations to suspend the jobs of female employees until further announcement, reports said.

The order struck as a big blow after the Taliban-run administration a few days back ordered universities to close to women. With barring women from all places, several humanitarian aid organizations consider it as a heavy blow to their operations in the country and a way to suspend their activities in the country.


After the western backed government failed in Afghanistan, millions of Afghans lost their jobs, food prices soared high and children suffered from malnutrition. The country was in total poverty and hunger.

Reports said that about 20 million people, which is more than half of the population, are facing potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity. It was Humanitarian aid that kept the country from the brink of mass starvation. It was because this that the people got food, medicines and other necessities.


Coming out against the Taliban ban, the United Nations  said that it was deeply disturbed over the ban.

Statement of Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric;

The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations. 

This decision will undermine the work of numerous organizations working across the country helping those most vulnerable, especially women and girls. 

The United Nations and its partners, including national and international non-governmental organizations, are helping more than 28 million Afghans who depend on humanitarian aid to survive. The effective delivery of humanitarian assistance requires full, safe and unhindered access for all aid workers, including women. The reported ban on women working with the international community to save lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan will cause further untold hardship on the people of Afghanistan.   

The Secretary-General reiterates the rights of all women to participate in the workforce thus contributing to the greater good.  


The announcement on 20 December by the Taliban to ban women from universities is another violation of international obligations and constitutes an institutionalised, systematic discrimination against women and girls, said the EU.

The statement of the EU is as follows

Having assumed de facto control over the country, the Taliban have an obligation to ensure the protection and fulfilment of the Social, Economic, Cultural, Civil and Political Rights protected under international treaties and conventions to which Afghanistan is a State Party. This includes ensuring quality education is available and accessible for all without discrimination.

Every child should have access to both primary and secondary education without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s religion, sex, ethnic or social origin, disability, or any other status. Access to higher education +should also be provided without any form of discrimination. Gender persecution may amount to a crime against humanity according to the Rome Statute, to which Afghanistan is a State Party. The recent measures by the Taliban in conjunction with all previous cumulative measures restricting fundamental rights of women and girls in

Afghanistan are extremely concerning and seem to be a systematic policy. ‘Intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity’, “committed as a part of a widespread or systematic attack” are defined as crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

The denial of the right to education for Afghan women and girls is first and foremost a violation of their rights and it undermines their capacity to prosper and play a full and meaningful role in society.

Afghan women are essential for the prosperity and stability of the country. They contribute to the economy, provide employment by creating and leading their own businesses, provide services to the most in need and are productive members of their community. Afghan women play an important role in the development of Afghanistan and should be given an equal opportunity to do so: depriving girls and women of opportunities based on their sex is not only a violation of human rights and gender equality; it also deprives Afghanistan and its people of the contributions of women and girls to society.

The EU expects from the Taliban to abide by their obligations, revert their decision, and ensure universal access to quality education throughout the country. The EU remains committed to the people of Afghanistan and continues to monitor the situation in the country with a view to providing the necessary assistance to the population in the best possible way.


Condemning the Taliban, the the UN humanitarian coordination office emphasized that any such order by the de facto authorities “would violate the most fundamental rights of women, as well as be a clear breach of humanitarian principles.” 

The UN in Afghanistan went on to say that it would seek to meet with the Taliban leadership to obtain clarity on the reported order.  

“Women must be enabled to play a critical role in all aspects of life, including the humanitarian response. Their participation must be both respected and safeguarded. This latest decision will only further hurt those most vulnerable, especially women and girls,” the UN said.


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