Taliban ban women from working for domestic, foreign NGOs

KABUL: The Taliban government in Afghanistan on Saturday ordered all foreign and domestic non-governmental groups to suspend employing women.
The order came in a letter from Economy Minister Qari Din Mohammed Hanif, which said that any NGO found not complying with the order will have their operating license revoked in Afghanistan.
The contents of the letter were confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday by ministry spokesman, Abdul Rahman Habib.
The ministry said it has received “serious complaints” about female staff working for NGOs not wearing the “correct” headscarf, or hijab. It was not immediately clear if the order applies to all women or only Afghan women at the NGOs.
The development came after Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers on Tuesday banned female students from attending universities effective immediately. Afghan women have since demonstrated in major cities against the ban, a rare sign of domestic protest since the Taliban seized power last year.
According to eyewitnesses in the western city of Herat, about two dozen women on Saturday were heading to the provincial governor’s house to protest the ban, chanting: “Education is our right,” when they were pushed back by security forces firing the water cannon.
Video shared with The Associated Press shows the women screaming and hiding in a side street to escape the water cannon. They then resume their protest, with chants of “Disgraceful!”

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