GENEVA (29 December 2022) — UN experts* today denounced and called for an immediate reversal of the Taliban’s recent order barring women from working in international and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and supported a unified effort of the international community to take a stand against this latest human rights violation, further banishing women from the workplace, preventing delivery of life-saving aid and crippling the work of NGOs which will have a terrible impact on the entire country. Their statement is as follows:

Just 4 days after the Taliban banned women and girls from attending universities, on 24 December, the acting Minister of Economy issued a letter barring women from working in international and national NGOs, a further outrageous violation of women’s rights with the double blow of preventing the delivery of vital life-saving services and denying many women of their livelihood.

“The ban on women working in NGOs not only deprives women workers of their fundamental rights and livelihood, but also prevents them from supporting their communities. It will further push women out of jobs and completely erase them from the public sphere,” said the experts. The ban will have a dire impact on local NGOs, particularly women-led NGOs, which have provided services and support for women, children and marginalized groups. Many national civil society organizations will be dealt a grievous blow by this cruel and unlawful decision.

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