G7 tells Taliban to ‘urgently reverse’ ban on women aid workers

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The G7 foreign ministers on Thursday called on the Taliban to “urgently reverse” a ban on women working in Afghanistan’s aid sector.

The ban is the latest blow against women’s rights in Afghanistan since the Taliban reclaimed power last year. The Taliban also barred women from attending universities earlier this month, prompting global outrage and protests in some Afghan cities.

The G7 ministers along with those of Australia, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands said in a joint statement they were “gravely concerned that the Taliban’s reckless and dangerous order… puts at risk millions of Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival”.

“We call on the Taliban to urgently reverse this decision,” they said in the statement issued by Britain’s foreign ministry.

It comes after six aid organisations suspended operations in Afghanistan in response to the ban. They included Christian Aid, ActionAid, Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and CARE.

The International Rescue Committee, which provides emergency response in health, education, and other areas and employs 3,000 women across Afghanistan, also said it was suspending services. —AFP