Kabul, Afghanistan – The Taliban leadership is working on ways to reopen universities for women and facilitate their access to work, said the Ministry of Interior Affairs, weeks after authorities in a formal decree banned women from attending college and non-governmental organizations.
This came days after 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 attending university and humanitarian work.
Acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani said that efforts are underway to find a permanent solution within the Sharia law and Afghan culture, according to the Ministry of Interior.
“The interior minister said that the Islamic Emirate leadership is committed to the welfare and prosperity of the people and that efforts are underway to address the problem,” said Abdul Nafay Takor, MoI’s spokesman, as TOLOnews quoted.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet that Potzel conveyed the international community’s call to lift “bans on work and education for women and girls.”
“The ban on Afghan women aid workers will deepen the humanitarian crisis creating greater economic misery and further Afghanistan’s isolation,” UNAMA said.
Taliban’s recent ban on women aid workers and female students’ access to higher education has triggered global reactions.
In September of 2021, the Taliban banned girls in Afghanistan are restricted from attending secondary schools despite international calls for reconsideration, which remains close up to these days.
On December 29, 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.
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.
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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.