Save the Children organization has raised concerns that the recent ban on women working for NGOs will lead to an increase in the number of children that get sent out to work.
The organization said this comes after they had to suspend activities in Afghanistan as 50% of their workforce are women and that they are essential for the safe and effective delivery of its services.
The ban comes at a time when Afghanistan is facing its worst economic and food crisis on record, with more than 28 million children and adults in need of humanitarian support.
Save the Children said in a statement that parents desperate to feed their families are increasingly sending their children to work in often dangerous environments. A recent assessment found that 29% of female-headed households in 2022 had at least one child engaged in child labour, up from 19% in 2021.
“The ban on female aid workers means we cannot run our programmes that help children, especially girls, involved in the most dangerous forms of child labour. These include working in brick factories, on building sites and in people’s homes, as well as collecting rubbish and begging on the streets.
“Our female staff are involved in every aspect of the programme, from going door-to-door identifying girls involved in child labour to registering and supporting them to return to school or enrol in vocational training, or teaching the girls technical skills and helping them to set up their own businesses – everything.
“If we cannot resume our child protection services with our female staff, many girls will be pushed back into child labour,” the statement read.—Ariana news