Secretary-General ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by Reported Ban in Afghanistan on Women Working for Non-Governmental Organizations, Warning Move Will Cause Further Untold Hardship

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations.  This decision will undermine the work of numerous organizations working across the country helping those most vulnerable, especially women and girls.

The United Nations and its partners, including national and international non-governmental organizations, are helping more than 28 million Afghans who depend on humanitarian aid to survive.  The effective delivery of humanitarian assistance requires full, safe and unhindered access for all aid workers, including women.  The reported ban on women working with the international community to save lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan will cause further untold hardship on the people of Afghanistan.

The Secretary-General reiterates the rights of all women to participate in the workforce thus contributing to the greater good.

For information media. Not an official record.