Hand in Hand’s statement on the ban on women NGO workers in Afghanistan
Following a letter issued by the Taliban’s Ministry of Economy on Saturday 24 December 2022, all national and international non-governmental organisations working in Afghanistan were instructed to immediately stop women from working. The Ministry has warned that they will revoke the operating licenses of any organisations that do not comply with these new restrictions.
Women staff play an essential role in NGO activities, providing humanitarian and development services, in order to respect traditional and religious customs. This exclusion of women will impact on communities in emergency food distribution, health services, basic education, livelihood training, protection services, and disability services.
In the immediate term, Hand in Hand Afghanistan, like many other Afghan NGOs, will be suspending its regular field activities and requesting only male members of staff work from the offices, with female members of staff working from home.
Hand in Hand Afghanistan is working with the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR), which represents 183 National and International Humanitarian and Development Organisations. Collectively, we are in urgent discussions with the Ministry of Economy to withdraw their suspension letter and engage in open discussions to find a constructive and durable way forward.
We will keep you updated as the situation changes. If you have any questions please contact Amalia Johnsson, Director of Programmes at Hand in Hand International on firstname.lastname@example.org.