Problems of the people of Afghanistan will increase further because of the restrictions imposed on women by the Taliban regime, and assistance worth billions of rupees can be stopped due to the decision of prohibiting women to work for local and international aid organizations. It is because of this assistance that Afghanistan has been able to avoid deaths due to hunger. The government has issued a warning stating that the licenses of the organizations, which will not comply to the rules, will be cancelled.
It is still not clear whether the restrictions will apply on the aid organizations of the UN and all of the women or only on Afghan women. After the collapse of the USA-supported government last year, the Afghan economy has fallen flat. Prices of food items have skyrocketed. According to a study of the United Nations, there is a lack of food among around 2 crore people. 60 lakh other people are grappling with starvation, and lakhs of children have been affected with malnutrition.
From the last one year, with the help of the billions of rupees provided by human aid organizations, lakhs of families are being provided with free food and medicines. Many organizations and NGOs believe that with the restrictions on women staffers by the Taliban regime, there work in the country can stop. Some donors will definitely pay attention to the brazen discrimination against women, and with the work of the organizations stopping, the assistance movement in Afghanistan will get adversely affected on a large scale. By the next year, 2 crore 83 lakh people will require assistance in some form.
The organizations which will be formed in Afghanistan will also face problems to work with the absence of women staffers. In many parts of the country, the women are in contact with only the men who are part of their families. After the decision of prohibiting the work of women, some foreign aid organizations have started mulling over stalling their activities in the country wit immediate effect.
John Morse, Director, DACAAR, which is an NGO based in Denmark, said that he will discuss the results of the restrictions with his seniors. A few days prior to the imposition of restriction on women working for NGOs, the Taliban government had prohibited women studying in private and government universities. Back in March, the new government had stepped back from its promise of allowing girls to study in government high schools.
The Afghan women who have been working for NGOs are also a symbol of the struggle going on for the last 20 years for women’s rights. Apart from this, their income is a support to their families during these times of economic crisis.