Despite the Taliban’s recent decision to ban all women from working for NGOs, female Afghan staff have returned to relief work in some provinces of Afghanistan.
The Norwegian Refugee Council announced that its Afghan female employees have resumed work in some provinces of Afghanistan, after the ban imposed by the Taliban government months ago.
Several NGOs suspended their activities to protest the Taliban authorities’ ban at the end of December on the work of Afghan women. The Taliban expanded its decision in early April to include UN offices across the country.
“I am pleased to confirm that we have been able to resume most of our humanitarian operations in Kandahar, as well as in a number of other areas of Afghanistan,” NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said Monday in a tweet.
And last month, Egeland, who traveled to Kandahar (south), the stronghold of the Taliban, announced that the authorities were considering a “temporary agreement” to allow women to return to work. “This agreement guarantees the provision of indispensable assistance, while the authorities finalize national guidelines to facilitate women’s participation in humanitarian efforts,” said Christian Jebsen, spokesman for the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The United Nations also said earlier that the Taliban was working on guidance to provide more clarity. There was no comment in this regard from the Taliban authorities.
Government officials said the ban was imposed because women did not wear headscarves, which aid workers denied.
Since the ban, the United Nations mission has asked all its Afghan employees, men and women, to work from their homes, but the deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Farhan Haq, confirmed that some of the organization’s bodies have “various means to manage the situation.”
Since returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban has gradually increased measures restricting freedoms, especially against women.