The United Nations has temporarily halted certain time-sensitive operations in Afghanistan and issued a warning that many additional initiatives will likely need to be put on hold due to the Taliban government’s prohibition on women aid workers.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, the heads of UN agencies, and several aid groups in a joint statement said that women’s participation in the provision of aid cannot be compromised and must continue, pleading with the authorities to reconsider their choice.
The statement was issued by the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Britain, the United States, and the EU.
“Banning women from humanitarian work has immediate life-threatening consequences for all Afghans. Already, some time-critical programs have had to stop temporarily due to lack of female staff,” the statement added.
The statement further added that the operational limitations that the humanitarian community is currently dealing with cannot be ignored. We will make every effort to keep up initiatives that are necessary for saving lives but anticipate that many of them will need to be put on hold because we can’t provide ethical humanitarian aid without female aid workers.
The Taliban-led government announced the ban on female charity workers on Saturday.
It came after last week’s prohibition on women attending universities whereas, in March girls were forbidden from attending high school.