Taliban ban NGOs from hiring women

KABUL (HPD) — The Taliban on Saturday barred national and international NGOs from employing women in Afghanistan, saying some of them were not properly wearing the Islamic headscarf.

It is the most recent measure of the militia that governs Afghanistan against the rights and freedoms of women.

The order came in a letter from Economy Minister Qari Din Mohammed Hanif, according to which any NGO that fails to comply with the regulations will lose its license to operate in Afghanistan. The content of the letter was confirmed to The Associated Press by ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman Habib.

The ministry said it had received “serious complaints” that female NGO employees were not wearing the hijab “correctly”. It was not clear whether the order covers all women or just Afghans.

Fears have been raised that the move will serve as a bridge to more restrictions against women in Afghanistan.

Also on Saturday, Taliban security forces in the city of Herat used water cannons to disperse a group of women protesting against a ban on going to university, witnesses said. The Taliban on Tuesday banned women from going to university, effective immediately.

Women’s groups have since protested in several cities, a rare display of popular discontent since the Taliban seized power last year. The decision caused fury inside and outside the country.

According to witnesses in Herat, about 20 women marched towards the home of the provincial governor on Saturday chanting “Education is our right” when security forces used water cannons against them.

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