Speaking at a joint press conference, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, CARE International Secretary-General Sofía Sprechmann Sineiro, and officials of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) emphasized the need to remove the restrictions imposed on women’s education and work.
Griffiths said if the Islamic Emirate does not reconsider its decision on women’s employment and education, it will be “catastrophic.”
The United Nations’ humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, in Griffiths’ opinion, were dealt a devastating blow by the ban on women working.
“It is a potential deathblow to many very important humanitarian programs and what we have described as one of the most difficult and priority areas for humanitarian assistance protections. If we don’t get those exceptions and if they are not reinforced… locally, then those activities won’t happen and this would be catastrophic,” Martin Griffiths said.
“Tying the hands of NGOs by barring women from giving lifesaving support to other women will cost lives. We are insisting on the repeal of the edict,” Sofía Sprechmann Sineiro said.
More than a million girls who should have been attending secondary schools have been denied an education for the past three years, said Omar Abdi, the deputy executive director for the program at UNICEF.
“The numbers are alarming, more than one million girls who should have been in secondary schools have lost out on learning for three years now, first due to Covid, and then in September 2021 due to the ban on attending secondary school,” Abdi said.
According to the United Nations, 28 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the restriction on women working has hampered relief operations.—Tolo news