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Afghan Taliban bans women employees of NGOs

Women barred because of Islamic dress code as defined by administration, Ministry of Economy spokesman

The Taliban-controlled Afghan administration on Saturday issued an order to all local and foreign and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to stop women employees from coming to work.

In a letter confirmed by Ministry of Economy spokesman Abdul Rehman Habib, it has been said that women employees were not allowed to work until further notice because some NGOs have not followed the Islamic dress code for women as defined by the administration.

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The administration’s decision came days after it ordered universities to close their doors to women, drawing international condemnation and protests and criticism in some places inside Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear how the order would affect UN agencies whose massive presence in Afghanistan has been serving during the country’s humanitarian crisis.

Asked whether the laws include UN agencies, Habib said the letter applied to Afghanistan’s humanitarian organisations under coordinating organisations called ACBAR. The organizations did not include the United Nations but it included more than 180 local and international NGOs.

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However, the UN often enters into agreements with NGOs registered in Afghanistan to carry out their tasks. Aid workers have said that women workers were critical to ensuring that women could access aid.



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