Monday, December 26, 2022
Taliban Order Women to stop working for NGOs
In a stunning display of bonehead-ism, the Taliban ordered all NGOs operating in Afghanistan to stop employing humans with XX chromosomes. The order is indefinite and states that NGOs not complying will lose their license to operate in country. XY chromosome humans may continue working with NGOs. The order was prompted apparently by the Ministry of Economy's observation that NGO's were not requiring XX humans to wear proper clothing while providing services to or for NGOs. The United Nations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and several large NGOs - the Red Cross, Save the Children, Care, and the Norwegian Refugee Council, have all issued statements urging the Taliban to reverse course. The organizations have all suspended operations, explaining that they depend heavily on XX humans and that the order makes it impossible to carry out their charitable missions. Here is the UN statement:
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - on Afghanistan
The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations. This decision will undermine the work of numerous organizations working across the country helping those most vulnerable, especially women and girls. The United Nations and its partners, including national and international non-governmental organizations, are helping more than 28 million Afghans who depend on humanitarian aid to survive. The effective delivery of humanitarian assistance requires full, safe and unhindered access for all aid workers, including women. The reported ban on women working with the international community to save lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan will cause further untold hardship on the people of Afghanistan. The Secretary-General reiterates the rights of all women to participate in the workforce thus contributing to the greater good.
Here is the Red Cross statement, which also references the Taliban's order banning XX humans from education as well.
The ICRC in Afghanistan employs hundreds of women. Humanitarian work in Afghanistan and around the world is only possible thanks to the efforts of all staff, including women. Questioning the full inclusion and participation of women in operations would jeopardize the whole humanitarian action.
The ICRC is particularly concerned about the future of the Afghan healthcare system and its female patients. Since November 2021, the ICRC has been supporting 45 health structures including hospitals and medical schools, with a total capacity of 7057 beds serving an estimated population of 26 million people. This support includes the payment of the running costs, medical consumables and the salaries of 10,483 health workers (around one third - 33% - of which are women). This support is ongoing and discussions are currently taking place with relevant authorities regarding the impact the recent decision might have on it.
It is clear that if women are no longer able to complete their health studies, in different specialties, it will have an even more severe impact on the delivery of healthcare services across Afghanistan, putting millions of lives at risk.
At a time at which more than half the population (over 24 million people) is in need of humanitarian assistance, we urge the IEA authorities to consider the impact of the recent announcement on the population and to find a solution that will enable all humanitarian actors, to continue delivering life-saving assistance to millions of Afghans.
Here is a helpful link to Afghan laws, but apparently this is a nation of men, neither of laws nor women. Click on the BBC podcast below for a report providing the larger context.