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“The Taliban must recognize and immediately restore all rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, including the right to education and employment.’’

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Vital Voices calls upon governments to strongly support those in the international community working to reverse the Taliban’s recent decree barring women from working in national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and from education. The United Nations and others must unequivocally support the call on the Taliban to stop its systematic war against women.

The Taliban’s violation of a women’s basic human right to work and education is preventing many humanitarian organizations and NGOs from delivering basic lifesaving assistance in the middle of winter. On January 10, over 2,000 female professors and lecturers were suspended from their positions,  according to a statement released by the U.N. Security Council.

“The Taliban is waging a relentless and cruel assault against the most basic rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. We condemn these efforts in the strongest possible terms,” says Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices.

“During the peace talks, the United States and international community repeatedly confirmed, ‘nothing is agreed upon, until everything is agreed upon’ when it comes to safeguarding the rights of Afghan women,’’ says one of our Vital Voices network leaders. ‘’Why do you (the international community) continue to be indifferent towards Afghan women getting hijacked and stoned publicly by the Taliban?”

A failure by the international community to step-in and work to reverse the ban and grant safe access to female NGO workers and women’s right to education will have a catastrophic impact on vulnerable women and girls across the country.