UN asks workers in Afghanistan to work from home as women banned from office

Kabul, Apr 11 (EFE).- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday instructed its employees to work from home instead of heading to their offices, after the Taliban banned Afghan women working for the body from going to their workplaces.

“UN national personnel – women and men – have been instructed not to report to UN offices, with only limited and calibrated exceptions made for critical tasks,” the UNAMA said in a statement.

The decision comes as the women employees have already been facing growing challenges, and the UN warned that their absence could severely affect their work in the next few weeks.

“Most of our work, including humanitarian assistance, is based on field surveys and information (gathering). With the lack of female staff, and without access to field and information, our work is not going to be as efficient as it has to be for the neediest people of Afghanistan,” UN employee Wali Agha Jan told EFE.

However, the officials added that they would continue to perform their duties to the best of their abilities for the people of Afghanistan, who have been hit hard by the humanitarian crisis in the country, further aggravated after the Taliban seized power in August 2021.

In its statement, the UNAMA reiterated its “unequivocal condemnation” of the Taliban’s ban on women working for the global body and warned that “any negative consequences of this crisis for the Afghan people will be the responsibility of the de facto authorities (Taliban).”

The organization also added that it was currently reviewing its Afghan operations through the director, Roza Otunbayeva.

However, some Afghan activists have said that the mere condemnation is not sufficient, as the Taliban have increasingly cracked down on the rights of Afghan women, with the UN unable to have any impact on their decisions.

Zulia Parsi, a member of the coalition of Afghan women’s movements, told EFE that she had urged the UN to close its offices in Afghanistan due to its inability to defend the women’s rights.

Since seizing power, the Taliban have imposed a series of restrictions on women, such as making it mandatory to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relatives while going out or travelling, apart from banning their access to classrooms and certain workplaces. EFE


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