The ban on women working in non-governmental organizations has hit the population in Afghanistan hard. The Taliban are also harming families, according to some critics. In response, several aid organizations are now suspending their work.

Because of the ban on women working in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) imposed by the Taliban, three foreign aid organizations are temporarily ceasing their activities in Afghanistan. “Until we have clarity about this announcement, we are suspending our programs,” said a joint statement from Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Care. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany would “call for a clear reaction from the international community”. insert.

The three organizations said in their statement that “men and women alike can continue our life-saving assistance in Afghanistan.” The radical Islamic Taliban, after a few days earlier banning women from higher education, announced the ban on Saturday, citing “serious complaints” about women working for NGOs not wearing the hijab.

Organizations that do not comply with the ban could have their license revoked. Whether the regulation only applies to Afghan nationals or also to foreigners has so far remained unclear.

Internationally, the announcement met with sharp criticism. The UN warned against “systematically excluding women from all aspects of public and political life” in Afghanistan. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the ban would be “devastating” for Afghanistan as it would “disrupt vital and life-saving assistance to millions of people”. Dozens of aid organizations are active in the country on the Hindu Kush.

“We will not accept that the Taliban make humanitarian aid a pawn in their misogyny,” Baerbock wrote on Twitter. She denounced that the Taliban were “robbing half the population of another basic right, breaking humanitarian principles and endangering people’s vital needs”.

“Anyone who excludes women and girls from work, education and public life not only ruins their country,” stressed Baerbock. Gender-related persecution could “also be a crime against humanity.” The Federal Foreign Office said that the first talks between donors and NGOs had already taken place in New York on Saturday to discuss possible reactions. “Coordination with international partners on how to proceed is currently underway.”

The 24-year-old Schabana, who works for an international NGO, reported: “I am the only breadwinner in my family. If I lose my job, my family of 15 will starve.” Afghanistan has “become hell for women”.

Millions of people in Afghanistan are dependent on humanitarian aid. The economic crisis in the country has worsened since the Taliban took power in August last year. The Taliban initially announced that they wanted to be less harsh than during their first rule from 1996 to 2001.