EU denounces Taliban ban on UN female staff, demands immediate reversal

The European Union (EU) has expressed “profound shock” and condemnation over the Taliban’s decision to ban women from working for the United Nations (UN) and its associated agencies, funds, and programs in Afghanistan.

“This new discriminatory Taliban decision further aggravates the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan and constitutes a violation of international Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and humanitarian principles,” the EU said in a statement on Friday.

Afghanistan is currently grappling with one of the worst economic and humanitarian crises in the world, with more than 28 million of its over 40 million population in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

Six million Afghans are already on the verge of famine.

The EU warned that the Taliban’s decision to ban women from work will disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid and basic needs to many of men, women and children in the country.

“This decision places women in an increasingly vulnerable position and has direct and life-threatening repercussions,” the EU maintained.

Reaffirming its commitment to staying engaged and delivering assistance for the people of Afghanistan, the EU urged the Taliban to allow women to participate equally and meaningfully in aid and service delivery.

“Female staff must not be replaced,” the EU stressed, supporting an already declared stance by the UN Women in response to the Taliban’s continued measures of removing women from public roles.

The EU added that its support for activities that cannot be continued in line with the EU’s principled approach will be reconsidered, calling for the immediate reversal of all Taliban’s bans against women.