The Taliban’s decree of 24 December 2022 banning women from working in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) nationally and internationally is another challenge to women’s rights in Afghanistan. It also threatens to put the world on the brink of famine and more natural disasters a public health problems.
The United Nations (UN) and humanitarian organizations are actively negotiating to persuade the Taliban to change the law. But right now, many non-governmental organizations, which rely heavily on women workers, have made the unfortunate decision to stop their work, which provides essential food, sanitation, and medicine. The law also jeopardizes the global effort to fight polio, where women play a vital role in raising awareness and vaccinating children. Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan are the last two countries where the polio virus is still present, and the campaign is progressing to eradicate it. that by the end of 2023.
From August 2021, when the terrorists took overAfghanistan wealth he is he has fallen and the world it has been hit by punishing droughts, earthquakes, floods, and winters. More than 28 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, such as food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, warm clothing, child protection, education, remittances, immunizations, and basic health services. About 6 million people are close to starvation.
The Afghan Ministry of Finance announced the decision in a December 24 letter to the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR), which includes 183 international and international NGOs. The letter said some women working in organizations that do not wear the hijab properly, says ACBAR director, Fiona Gall, and said it will revoke the licenses of organizations that do not comply with the law. prohibiting female workers. (It came just days after the Taliban banned women from universities and months after banning girls from high schools.)
For cultural reasons, Afghan women cannot interact with male aid workers. By issuing the order, “The Taliban stopped aid to half of the Afghan population,” UN Women’s Sima Bahous said in a December 25 statement, adding that “11.6 million women and girls are no longer receiving the aid they need.” And many non-governmental organizations in the country and in different countries say they had no choice but to temporarily stop some or all of their activities. A quick survey of 87 NGOs conducted by the Humanitarian Access Working Group on 12 January found that 83% had done so.
“We are in a very difficult place. We have no intention of leaving the communities we work with,” said Keyan Salarkia of Save the Children Afghanistan, which has more than 5000 employees in Afghanistan, almost half of them are women. But “we can’t reach women or children and we can’t protect our workers. This is not the only agreement we can make.”
Kochay Hassan, director of the Afghani Women Educational Center, says his organization continues to operate, but most women work at home. “We have a lot of ambitions,” says Hassan. The law “will not stop us … if women continue to work at home and deal with their male colleagues.” The Vision Development Organization, which works to empower women, educate girls, and promote health, is also working hard, says founder and CEO Madina Mahboobi.
Women-led non-governmental organizations are under reviewy. When one group the director he wants to take documents from his office as soon as he issued the order, the Taliban were guarding the door, he says. A male friend collected the papers. The Taliban regularly visit NGO offices to see if there are any women working. If so, they can be arrested.
UN agencies that are technically illegal, but he can styleI see their work is crippled by it. The UN World Food Program (WFP), For example, which aims to feed 15 million people during the winterthey work with about 100 local people. “The entire humanitarian community is affected by the decision in one way or another,” said a WFP spokesperson. The UN High Commission on Refugees, which works with 19 non-governmental organizations and more than 500 women, said it had to temporarily suspend some critical operations..
The Ministry of Health in Afghanistan said that women NGOs health workers are not allowed to follow this rule also, but exactly what this term means is not known, because it is not written, Gall says, and many organizations worry about the security of theirs female stick. It seems that Female health workers can work in hospitals and clinics, but the role of mobile teams is not clear, Gall says.
As a work-around, Hassan is others to be depending oned a new word for their NGO’s work. In several regions, “safe spaces” for women and childrenwho providing health services among other services, now it is a “health center” that continues to work with female workers, who strictly follow the Taliban’s dictates on dress and male leaders.
Leaders of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are trying to clarify what the law means for their work. There are only two cases due to wildness polioin Afghanistan in 2022, he says he has no intention of leaving. Two days after the law came out, GPEI continued with the campaign in four eastern provinces, using women’s vaccination. But UNICEF chose not to send its female staff, who inform women about the upcoming campaign and its benefits. “This is not sustainable in the future,” says Hamid Jafari of the World Health Organization, who manages polio operations in the region.
GPEI is planning a major campaign targeting 5.3 million Afghan children by the end of January, Jafari says. “We are working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that women continue to campaign.” If not, the campaign will continue with male vaccinators, as they are already doing in other parts of the country. Few children will be vaccinated, especially babies who cannot be taken out of the house, Jafari said, “But we will try to do everything we can.”
The UN and humanitarian organizations are still hoping that the law will be changed. The UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, met with Qari Din Mohammad Hanif, the Taliban’s Minister of Finance, on December 26, and talks have continued. Spectators see disunity among the Taliban; Some ministers have said that they do not agree with the law, and some regional leaders want the female aid workers to continue their work. The Taliban appear to have left the door open, at least partially, for more negotiations. “That means there’s an opportunity for compromise,” says Gall. “But it won’t happen as soon as we would like.”