On 24 December 2022, the Taliban issued a letter banning women from working in international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the latest attack in a series of systematic infringements on the fundamental rights of women and girls since the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August 2021.
Developed during the two-week period following the ban, this gender alert analyses the impact of the directive through the insights of Afghan women’s civil society organizations. The gender alert focuses primarily on the immediate repercussions of the ban on humanitarian assistance, as well as the implications for the economy and women’s empowerment. It concludes that the ban:
is discriminatory and dictates whom humanitarian actors can(not) employ, and whom they can reach with assistance;
has multilayered implications that go beyond the inability of reaching women and girls with life-saving assistance, including dealing a further blow to the Afghan economy amid the ongoing crisis; and
speeds up the erasure of Afghan women and girls from all aspects of Afghan public life.