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US special envoy urges end to Taliban’s ban on women in aid agencies

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KABUL – US special envoy for Human Rights in Afghanistan, Rina Amiri, has called for an immediate cessation of the Taliban’s prohibition on women working in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), citing its severe impact on the delivery of essential humanitarian aid.

Expressing her concerns, Amiri asserted, “The Taliban’s suspension of Afghan female NGO and UN staff poses a serious threat to the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance.” She highlighted the perilous situation faced by women who, even when negotiating the right to work, remain exposed to intimidation and threats.

As the one-year mark of edicts further restricting women’s participation in education and employment approaches, Amiri emphasized the need to resonate with Afghans, urging to “unban the bans.”

Simultaneously, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the imperative nature of lifting the ban on women in NGOs.

Bennett stated on X, “Education and work are vital to a full and dignified life. Women are crucial for the economy, and their contributions are essential for the well-being and progress of Afghan society.”

These pleas from international figures underscore the urgency of addressing the restrictive measures imposed on Afghan women, with a particular focus on ensuring their active participation in humanitarian efforts for the betterment of society.

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