Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Banning Women from Humanitarian Work has Life-Threatening Consequences: UN

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Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadi holds a B.A. degree in Journalism. He works as an Editor & Content Writer for Khaama Press.
FILE: Banning Women from Humanitarian Work has Life-Threatening Consequences, said UN.

Kabul, Afghanistan – The United Nations in a statement on Thursday warned of a “life-threatening consequences” for all Afghans, after the Taliban leadership in a formal decree banned women in Afghanistan from humanitarian work.

This came at a time more than 28 million people in Afghanistan, including women and children, require assistance to survive as the country grapples with the risk of famine conditions, economic decline, entrenched poverty and a brutal winter.

United Nation’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee Principals on Afghanistan said the decision to ban women from working in humanitarian non-governmental organizations is a major blow to vulnerable communities, women, children, and the entire country.

Reiterating the role of women in Afghanistan, the UN agency said that female staff are key to every aspect of the humanitarian response in Afghanistan, exclaiming they are teachers, nutrition experts, team leaders, community health workers, vaccinators, nurses, doctors, and heads of organizations.

“They (women in Afghanistan) have access to populations that their male colleagues cannot reach and are critical to safeguarding the communities we serve,” the statement read. “They save lives.”

“Their professional expertise is indispensable,” the statement further read. “Their participation in aid delivery is not negotiable and must continue.”

Highlighting a glimpse of “consequences”, the UN agency said that some time-critical programmes have had to stop temporarily due to lack of female staff.

“While humanitarian organizations continue to engage the de facto authorities, we cannot ignore the operational constraints now facing us as a humanitarian community,” said the UN.

“We will endeavour to continue lifesaving, time-critical activities unless impeded while we better assess the scope, parameters and consequences of this directive for the people we serve.”

But since the latest decree by the Taliban leadership, many activities have been paused as they cannot deliver principled humanitarian assistance without female aid workers.

“We urge the de facto authorities to reconsider and reverse this directive, and all directives banning women from schools, universities and public life,” UN said. “No country can afford to exclude half of its population from contributing to society.”

Meanwhile, foreign ministries of 12 countries, including the US and the UK, in a statement expressed grave concern about the Taliban’s decision to bar women from working in NGOs.

They said that the decision puts at risk millions of Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

“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 organizations, as international organizations utilize NGOs to deliver such materials and services,” the statement said, as TOLOnews quoted.

They called on the current leadership to reverse immediately their decision to ban women from working in NGOs.

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