Three major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have halted work in Afghanistan after women were banned from working for them by the Taliban.
In a joint statement, Care International, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Save the Children said they would be unable to continue their work “without our female staff”.
The aid groups are “demanding” that women can continue to work for them.
Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban have been steadily repressing women’s rights.
The latest edict on NGOs came just days after the Taliban banned women from attending university.
Abdel Rahman Habib, spokesman for the Taliban’s ministry of economy, claimed female workers at the foreign aid groups had broken dress codes by not wearing hijabs.
The leaders of Care, the NRC and Save the Children said the organisations “would not have jointly reached millions of Afghans in need since August 2021” were it not for their female staff.
“Whilst we gain clarity on this announcement, we are suspending our programmes, demanding that men and women can equally continue our lifesaving assistance in Afghanistan,” their statement added.