EU to ‘reconsider its support’ following the Taliban’s latest ban

File photo.

The European Union has said that the Taliban’s latest move to ban Afghan women from working for the United Nations further aggravates the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The EU said in a statement that the Taliban’s decision also constitutes a violation of international Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and humanitarian principles.

The statement noted that based on the Council Conclusions of 20 March 2023, the European Union will reconsider its support to the activities where operations cannot be continued in line with the EU’s principled approach, such as that providing aid in a non-discriminatory way and regardless of gender.

“This decision places women in an increasingly vulnerable position and has direct and life-threatening repercussions, as banning women from work disrupts the delivery of humanitarian aid, basic needs, and services to large parts of the entire population, including women, children, and men,” the statement said.

Condemning the Taliban’s move, the EU warned that more than 28 million people in Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian assistance – with millions of people already on the verge of famine – and that the Taliban’s latest ban will further deteriorate the situation in the country.

Meanwhile, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to staying engaged and delivering assistance for the benefit of the people, with a principled approach.

“We urge the Taliban to allow women to equally and meaningfully participate in aid and services delivery so that women can engage fully and actively in the society, as well as remain beneficiaries of aid. Female staff must not be replaced,” the statement said.

The EU once again called on the Taliban “to deliver on their promises and prove their ability to respect and protect the human rights and provide basic services for the entire population of Afghanistan, in line with their earlier statements and promises.”