Taliban warns the West: Don’t judge us by your values

Aid agencies have warned it would be impossible to provide assistance without female staff

Speaking to BBC Persian, Muhammad Naeem Wardak, the spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, rejected calls for the group to lift the ban on female aid workers, saying that “there is no need for women to work.” He warned that “the West should not judge us according to its values.”

Wardak dismissed the international outcry and the need for female aid workers to provide services to women in Afghanistan, retorting that “if the international community wants to help women, they should deliver it to their husbands who will share with their wives.”

Earlier, the group’s spokesman in Kabul, Zabihullah Mujahid, also defended the ban and rejected calls for the UN and humanitarian agencies should be exempt from the ban, saying that “the Islamic Emirate has no control over these organizations. Their working environment is not compatible with our values.” He added that the ban was issued “ to protect our women’s dignity and honor.”

The Taliban leadership’s decision to ban women from working for international aid organisations, following a ban on women from universities, has faced widespread condemnation. At least ten major aid agencies, including the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and CARE International have suspended their operations in the country.