Taliban orders NGOs to ban women from work

Afghanistan’s Taliban-run administration has ordered all local and foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to stop female employees from coming to work, according to an economy ministry letter, in the latest crackdown on women’s freedoms.

The letter, confirmed by economy ministry spokesperson Abdulrahman Habib on Saturday, said the female employees were not allowed to work until further notice because some had not adhered to the administration’s interpretation of the Islamic dress code for women.

The letter said any NGO found not complying with the order would have their operating license revoked in Afghanistan.

The order came days after the Taliban-run administration ordered universities to close to women, prompting strong global condemnation and sparking some protests and heavy criticism inside Afghanistan.

The chargé d’affaires for Norway, which funds aid in Afghanistan and hosted talks between Taliban and civil society members in January, called for the ban to be “reversed immediately”.

“The European Union strongly condemns the Taliban’s recent decision to ban women from working in national and international NGOs,” a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the AFP news agency in a statement.

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