EU strongly condemns Taliban ban on female staff at NGOs

EU leaders meet in Brussels
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell attends the European Union leaders' summit in Brussels, Belgium October 20, 2022. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

BRUSSELS, Dec 25 (Reuters) - EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday strongly condemned Afghanistan's Taliban-run administration's order to ban women from working at all local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs), saying this amounts to erasing women from public spaces.

Kabul said the move, which was condemned globally, was justified because some women had not adhered to the Taliban's interpretation of Islamic dress code for women.

Borrell said he was appalled by the latest decision, which follows last week's ban on women attending university, and a violent crackdown against peaceful protests by women against that move.

He urged the Taliban to lift their decision immediately, as part of their obligation to respect international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles.

"Together with other providers of assistance to the people of Afghanistan, the EU will have to consider what consequences this decision, and the recent decision by the Taliban to close universities for women, will have on their engagement with our countries and organisations," Borrell said in a statement.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Peter Graff

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