G-7 calls on Taliban to 'urgently reverse' ban on women aid workers

In joint statement, G-7 foreign ministers say they are 'gravely concerned' over Taliban’s ‘reckless, dangerous order'.

G-7 calls on Taliban to 'urgently reverse' ban on women aid workers

The G-7 countries on Thursday called on the Taliban to “urgently reverse” a ban on women working with national and international NGOs.

In a joint statement, the G-7 foreign ministers and high representatives of the EU said that they are "gravely concerned" by the "Taliban’s reckless and dangerous order."

"The Taliban continue to demonstrate their contempt for the rights, freedoms, and welfare of the Afghan people, particularly women and girls, and their disinterest in normal relations with the international community," the statement said.

Highlighting the “central” role of women in humanitarian and basic needs operations, the foreign ministers said they support Afghan people’s calls for girls and women to return to work, school, and university.

Foreign ministers of Australia, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands also joined the call by G-7 countries and the EU.

Earlier, the heads of a key UN-backed committee on Afghanistan stressed that the ban has immediate "life-threatening consequences" for all Afghans.

"The decision by Afghanistan's de facto authorities to ban women from working in humanitarian non-governmental organizations is a major blow for vulnerable communities, for women, for children, and the entire country," said the principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Afghanistan that includes heads of multiple UN agencies and civil society groups.

According to an Economy Ministry letter on Saturday, the Taliban ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop female employees from coming to work.