NRC Secretary General
Photo: Egeland's Twitter

NRC chief: We will not work without our female staff

The Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Jan Egeland, said on Sunday that the Taliban’s “internal debates and extreme decrees have paralyzed our work”. Egeland arrived in Kabul on Sunday morning, hoping to convince the Taliban leadership to lift their ban on women aid workers. “NRC’s 469 female colleagues are essential for our aid to 700.000 Afghans. We must be allowed to resume work with all staff, or lives will be lost,” he said in a tweet soon after arriving in the Afghan capital.

Egeland is the first international aid chief to visit Afghanistan to meet with the Taliban leadership in the hope of convincing them to reverse their decision.

Posting a video filmed in a snowy street in Kabul, Egeland said that “without our female colleagues, we cannot work and we will not work.” Adding that his organisation was “ready to restart our aid operations tomorrow. But we can only do so when we gain unimpeded access for both our female and male staff members to reach all the affected population in need.”

To watch the full video message of Jan Egeland click here

Egeland told AP on Sunday that he wanted to meet Taliban leaders in the Afghan capital and also travel to Kandahar with the hope to meet officials around the group’s supreme leader, Hitatullah Akhundzada.

The Taliban, Egeland said, had “misled” to the world by making promises on women’s right. And the group’s “decrees on female workers, on education for girls is so wrong for Afghanistan, for the population, for the future, for the economy.”