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EU Links Aid to Afghanistan With Removal of Taliban’s Ban on Working Women

Kabul: In an effort to persuade the Taliban regime in Kabul to reverse its decision to ban women from working, the European Union (EU) has linked aid to Afghanistan with several conditions.

According to a report by Tolo News, the European Union (EU) has linked aid to Afghanistan with the removal of the ban imposed on Afghan working women by the Taliban regime in Kabul.

Asserting that the Taliban’s ban on women working for UN organizations violates international law, the EU said that aid to Afghanistan cannot be delivered regardless of gender and aid activities will be reconsidered.

“We urge the Taliban to allow women to equally and meaningfully participate in aid and services delivery so that women can engage fully and actively in the society, as well as remain beneficiaries of aid. Female staff must not be replaced. As the EU stated in the Council Conclusions of 20 March 2023, where activities cannot be continued in line with the EU’s principled approach, i.e. providing aid in a non-discriminatory way, regardless of gender, support to those activities will be reconsidered,” the EU said in a statement.

The EU underlined its commitment to continuing its involvement and providing aid with a moral perspective for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan.

“Not just UN offices, but to the other offices of the government, rights must be ensured for Afghan women employees, to allow Afghan women to return to their jobs,” Maryam Marouf Arwin, an activist for women’s rights, was quoted as saying by Tolo News.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also supported the EU stand, asserting that the Afghan Taliban’s decision to bar women from working will result in a reduction in services and support for all people in Afghanistan.

“I am deeply alarmed and strongly condemn this continued assault on women’s human rights, which will only have the effect of reducing services and support for all Afghans. Alongside the international community, the United States calls on the Taliban to reverse this reprehensible decision immediately,” the USAID said in a statement.

However, the Ministry of Economy of the Taliban regime said that aid to Afghanistan should not be linked to political or cultural issues.

“The people of Afghanistan need the assistance of the international community, and helping the people of Afghanistan is a responsibility and international community. So, aid should not be linked to political and cultural issues,” Abdul Latif Nazari, the Taliban’s deputy of the Ministry of Economy, told the media.

According to the United Nations (UN) around 3,300 of its employees – both male and female – have been forced to stay at home since the Taliban banned women from working at UN agencies in Afghanistan.

The plight of women in Afghanistan has gotten worse since the Taliban seized Kabul in August 2021. In Afghanistan, women are not allowed to hold positions of authority and are not permitted to work or travel without a male companion.

On March 23, this year, the Taliban had vowed to restore all schools, but instead, they closed secondary schools for girls.

The reopening of these institutions, their likelihood, and if the prohibition is temporary are all still unknown.

Source : First Post