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Leading UN, NGO officials to discuss Taliban ‘women staff ban’ policies

Leading UN representatives and representatives from dozens of NGOs working in Afghanistan are gathering on Sunday to discuss the future after the Taliban ordered all NGOs to cease hiring women.

If NGOs don’t follow the directive, the hardline Islamists on Saturday threatened to suspend their operating licenses.

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The Ministry of Economy, which issues these licenses, claimed to have had “severe concerns” about how women working for NGOs were not dressing according to the correct Islamic standards.

According to Tapiwa Gomo, public media officer for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a meeting of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is scheduled for later to consult and discuss how to resolve this situation.

The HCT, which coordinates the delivery of relief throughout the nation, is made up of senior UN officials and representatives from numerous Afghan and foreign NGOs.

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According to some NGO officials, the meeting will consider whether to halt all humanitarian efforts in response to the most recent Taliban order.

The Taliban’s order was denounced by the United Nations, which stated it will ask them for an explanation.

Less than a week ago, the Taliban authorities forbade women from enrolling in institutions, sparking indignation around the world and demonstrations in certain Afghan cities.

The Taliban have already prohibited young girls from attending secondary school since taking back power in August of last year.

In addition, many government employment for women have been eliminated, they are not allowed to travel alone without a male relative, and they are required to wear a burqa outside the house to cover up.


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