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Top UN and NGO officials meeting up to discuss Taliban restriction on female workers

KABUL: After Taliban authorities ordered all NGOs to cease hiring women workers, top UN officials and representatives from dozens of Afghan NGOs are gathering on Sunday to discuss the next steps.

On Saturday, the group threatened to revoke NGOs’ operating permits if they didn’t follow the directive. There have been “severe accusations,” according to the Ministry of Economy, that women working for NGOs are not dressing appropriately.

According to Tapiwa Gomo, public media officer for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a meeting of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is set for later today to confer and discuss how to resolve this situation.

The HCT, which coordinates the delivery of relief throughout the country, is made up of senior UN officials and representatives from several Afghan and foreign NGOs.

According to some NGO officials, the conference will consider whether to halt all humanitarian efforts in response to the most recent Taliban order. The Taliban’s order was denounced by the United Nations, which stated it will ask them for an explanation.

The edict, according to the statement, “systematically excludes women from all spheres of public and political life, setting back attempts for any lasting peace or stability in the nation.”

The embargo, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, would “disrupt crucial and life-saving assistance to millions” and be “devastating” to Afghans.

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