Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund, the Acting Minister of Disaster Management of the Islamic Emirate has said the decree banning women employees from working for NGOs will not be lifted, and the international community should respect the Islamic culture of Afghanistan.
Mohammad Abbas Akhund on Tuesday told to BBC the world should respect Afghan culture, and reiterated that restrictions on female employees working with government and non-governmental organizations will not be removed.
The Taliban minister’s remarks come as a senior United Nations delegation visited Afghanistan last week, and met with high-ranking interim authorities of the country aimed at removing the imposed gender-based restriction on Afghan women and girls.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammad stated to the media that a timeline should be set and the “Taliban” should be forced to remove restrictions accordingly. Without a clear timeline, these temporary restrictions could continue up to another 50 years, therefore, a proper timeline is urgently needed to address the issue.
Meanwhile, Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union said on Tuesday that the EU and the UN will stand with Afghan women and girls in all circumstances.
Ned Price, U.S. States Department’s Spokesperson in a press conference on Tuesday stated that restricting women employees working for NGOs has caused an 80 percent decline in the activities of aid organizations in Afghanistan in the recent past.
The ban on NGO employees has negatively affected the aid distribution among needy families across the country during these difficult times – with the harsh winter hitting vulnerable people the worst. Hundreds of people and livestock have died in the country’s coldest winter so far according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) report.