Taliban orders NGOs to ban female employees from coming to work

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CNN
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The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has ordered all local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to stop their female employees from coming to work, according to a letter by the Ministry of Economy sent to all licensed NGOs.

Non-compliance will result in revoking the licenses of said NGOs, the ministry said.

The ministry in the letter – whose validity its spokesman Abdul Rahman Habib confirmed to CNN – cites as reasons for the decision the non-observation of Islamic dress rules and other laws and regulations of the Islamic Emirate.

“Lately there have been serious complaints regarding not observing the Islamic hijab and other Islamic Emirate’s laws and regulations,” the letter said, adding that as a result “guidance is given to suspend work of all female employees of National and international non-governmental organizations.”

Earlier this week, the Taliban government suspended university education for all female students in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education confirmed the university suspension to CNN on Tuesday. A letter published by the education ministry said the decision was made in a cabinet meeting and the order would go into effect immediately.

In a televised news conference on Thursday, the Taliban’s higher education minister said they had banned women from universities for not observing Islamic dress rules and other “Islamic values,” citing female students traveling without a male guardian. The move sparked outrage among women in Afghanistan.

It marks yet another step in the Taliban’s brutal crackdown on the freedoms of Afghan women, following the hardline Islamist group’s takeover of the country in August 2021.

Though the Taliban has repeatedly claimed it would protect the rights of girls and women, it has in fact done the opposite, stripping away the hard-won freedoms they have fought tirelessly for over the past two decades.

Some of its most striking restrictions have been around education, with girls barred from returning to secondary schools in March. The move devastated many students and their families, who described to CNN their dashed dreams of becoming doctors, teachers or engineers.

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