Foreign NGOs exit Afghanistan as Taliban bans female staff

The Taliban has been making the most controversial decisions against women in the country. Because of this, many foreign bodies are pulling their investment away from the country. This time, the Taliban's decision to ban female workers has caused the country's top five non-governmental organizations to pull away their funding and shut down their operations in Afghanistan. This decision has affected Care International, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Save the Children, The International Rescue Committee, and Islamic Relief, who said that having a staff without any female workers is against their values and objectives. The exit of Islamic Relief is the most surprising one, mainly because the Taliban claims to preserve Islamic values through their decisions. Although Islamic Relief is not exiting entirely, the NGO has said that it will be shutting down most of its operations. 

The Taliban have made several decisions since coming into power which has been directed at snatching the basic rights of women in the country. Since forming the government in Afghanistan, the Taliban have been repressing Afghan women by issuing a dress code based on Islamic values, restricting them from school and university education, and preventing them from working in any sector. Last week, the Taliban announced its decision to ban women from universities. This meant that no women in Afghanistan will have access to any sort of University education. Before this, The Taliban has already prevented girls from attending schools, giving the reason that schools were not enforcing the Islamic rules and girls were not following the Islamic codes of dressing which they were suggested to do. It has been over a year now since girls were exempted from schools. While banning women from Universities, the Afghan higher education minister said that the women in universities were not wearing proper hijabs as they were advised to and also were not resisting talking to male students in universities. Following similar values, many universities started to use curtains to separate female and male students sitting in the classroom. Because of such treatment of Afghan women, the US and the UN have already criticized the Afghan government. The US said that by doing such activities, the Taliban is burning the bridge to their vision of getting global recognition as the Afghan government. 

On the other side, the Taliban is actively defending every decision that it has taken against women. Abdel Rahman Habib, the spokesman for the Taliban's ministry of economy, said that the Afghan women who were working with the foreign NGOs were not following the Islamic dress code of wearing a proper hijab. It is the same reason that the Taliban has been using to defend their every reason to restrict women from having their basic rights. Going to the extreme, the Taliban threatened these foreign NGOs with a warning of canceling their license to operate in the country if they do not follow their terms. NGOs like, Care International, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Save the Children said that their women staff allowed them to have the reach which they have now, enabling them to serve millions of Afghans.