Despite Female Employee Ban, Some Aid Groups Start Operating Again in Afghanistan
Several aid organizations have started to operate again in Afghanistan, nearly a month after Taliban ordered all non-governmental organizations working in the country to stop employing women due to their non-compliance with laws requiring the wearing of the hijab. The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children and CARE said they are again operating health and nutrition programs after receiving permission from Taliban officials that women could work in health-care areas. The organizations, including several United Nations bodies, had stopped operating in Afghanistan to protest the directive; they said that they needed female workers to reach the female population in the Islamist country. The Taliban, who took over and announced the formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan at the end of August 2021 when the last US and other foreign troops left the country, last month suspended university education for all women in the country, effective immediately. The announcement came two weeks after the Taliban allowed girls to take their high school graduation exams, despite not being in a classroom since the Islamist fundamentalist group took over and prevented girls from studying in high schools. The Taliban have been barring women from entering public spaces including parks, gyms, and entertainment venues, requiring them to wear burqas and face coverings and requiring a male escort in public.