An organization associated with the United Nations, UNICEF, voiced its concerns that the Taliban government is pushing out international aid organizations from Afghanistan’s education sector, particularly when it comes to educating women and girls.
The Taliban, in December 2022, instituted a ban on Afghan female staff working for international organizations because these women were not wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf (called the hijab) and were not segregating by gender in the workplace. This past April, the ban was extended to United Nations groups like UNICEF.
International organizations in Afghanistan have one month to comply with the Taliban’s order to transfer education work to locally-run groups.
UNICEF’s statement said it is “deeply concerned by reports that over 500,000 children, including over 300,000 girls, could lose out on quality learning through community based education within a month if international non-governmental organizations working in the field of education are no longer allowed to operate and if handovers to national NGOs are done without comprehensive assessment and capacity building.” The organization added that about 5,000 women work in UNICEF’s education activities.
As Accuracy in Academia reported in April, and in months previous, the Taliban continues to create hurdles and barriers for women and girls to receive a formal education. But it cannot be left unsaid that the disastrous withdrawal by U.S. military forces under President Joe Biden led to the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan, which further eroded women’s human rights and their progress in education.
The Associated Press reported on the Taliban’s order and quoted UNICEF’s statement.