Joint Statement Calls Taliban’s Ban on Working Women Reckless, Urges its Reversal

Thursday, 12/29/2022

In a joint statement, foreign ministers of 12 countries and representatives of the European Union (EU) said that Taliban’s ban on working women puts at risk millions of Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

While calling the Taliban’s order reckless and dangerous, the statement urged the group to urgently reverse its decision of barring female employees of national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the workplace.

The statement had been issued by the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the High Representative of the European Union.

“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 organisations, as they utilise NGOs to deliver such materials and services,” the statement added.

The statement also noted that the Taliban seems disinterested in seeking normal relations with the international community as they continue to demonstrate their contempt for the rights, freedoms, and welfare of the Afghan people, particularly women and girls.

They urged the Taliban to respect the political, economic, social, and cultural rights of women and girls in Afghanistan and said that they stand in solidarity with the Afghan people’s calls for girls and women to return to work, school, and university, and for women to continue to play essential roles in humanitarian and basic needs assistance delivery.

The joint statement also said that the signatories are in discussion with the United Nations to avoid any disruption and allow the continuation of all humanitarian operations of international and national NGOs.

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