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The Taliban issue a decree banning female workers from humanitarian organizations

December 24 (UPI) – Afghanistan’s Taliban government decreed on Saturday that all female employees of humanitarian non-governmental organizations are banned from working in the country.

The decision was announced in a letter from the Taliban-controlled Ministry of Economy to national and international NGOs across the country, CNN and the BBC reported.

It comes less than a week after the government barred women from public and private universities. The ban was announced in a letter from the Taliban-controlled Ministry of Higher Education on Tuesday.

The NGO ban could have a serious impact on access to basic supplies, advocates have warned, saying women are needed for aid delivery due to the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law which bars both men and women from interact in most situations.

“The latest order from the Taliban’s Economy Ministry suspending all female employees of domestic and international NGOs in Afghanistan is yet another regrettable attempt to erase women from the political, social and economic spaces,” Amnesty International said South Asia in a tweet.

Since the Taliban takeover of the Western-backed Afghan government last year, Afghanistan has faced a severe economic crisis that critics say has been exacerbated by the US government’s reluctance to release funds belonging to the previous government.

In September, the United States established a fund to distribute frozen assets to programs designed to help Afghan civilians without going through the Taliban.

Biden administration officials have said releasing some funds to Afghanistan’s central bank would require guarantees that the funds are not being misappropriated or used to support terrorist activity.