Calling the Taliban’s ban on women’s work for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as “reckless and dangerous”, foreign ministers of 12 countries and high representative of the European Union (EU) called on the Taliban to “urgently reverse” their decision.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, December 28, the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union warned that barring women from working for NGOs risks the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan who depends on humanitarian assistance for their survival.
“Women are absolutely central to humanitarian and basic needs operations. Unless they participate in aid delivery in Afghanistan, NGOs will be unable to reach the country’s most vulnerable people to provide food, medicine, winterization, and other materials and services they need to live. This would also affect the humanitarian assistance provided by international organizations, as international organizations utilize NGOs to deliver such materials and services.
The Taliban continue to demonstrate their contempt for the rights, freedoms, and welfare of the Afghan people, particularly women and girls, and their disinterest in normal relations with the international community.”
The ban on women working for NGOs came after the group banned women from universities. At least four international aid agencies have suspended operations in Afghanistan. And the German Development Minister, Svenja Schulze, announced via a tweet on Monday that her country was planning to suspend financial aid to Afghanistan.
The Taliban have not responded to international pressures.