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DRC Statement on the Ban on Women working with NGOs in Afghanistan

Responding to the announcement issued by the Taliban on December 24th banning NGOs from employing women in Afghanistan, the Danish Refugee Council is temporarily suspending activities while negotiations with IEA representatives are ongoing.

DRC female staff consulting with female cash for work beneficiaries in Kunar, May 2022: DRC

Posted on 25 Dec 2022

The suspension of activities comes in acknowledgement of the essential role Afghan women play in the provision of aid to the Afghan people.

The Danish Refugee Council encourages the humanitarian community to remain united under the umbrella of principled humanitarian response and to stand behind the rights of Afghan women to work with NGOs, and to benefit from lifesaving assistance and basic services provided by NGOs safely and without barriers.

The Danish Refugee Council also calls for constructive dialogue between the humanitarian community – including NGO representatives - and the IEA to agree upon solutions that would allow the continuation of critical provision of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

It is estimated that a record 28.3 million people will need humanitarian and protection assistance in 2023, up from 24.4 million in 2022 and 18.4 million in 2021.

21% of the people in need in Afghanistan are women and 54% are children. Women and children are often the most affected by the current crisis and they cannot be meaningfully reached without women working in the humanitarian sector.

Preventing women from working with NGOs means compromising the provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance to 21 million women and children.

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