Première Urgence Internationale strongly condemns the decision to ban women from working for NGOs in Afghanistan

Kabul, 27/12/22 : Première Urgence Internationale is appalled by the recent decision of the authorities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to ban women from working for national and international aid organizations. 

© Première Urgence Internationale

Throughout past decades, we witnessed a tremendous improvement of the overall health status of the Afghan population, particularly for women and children. This improvement was possible thanks to the commitment of female health professionals who have relentlessly served communities, generations of mothers, wives and widows, girls and boys.

Barring women from working with aid organizations risks not only the progress made, but paves the way for a speedy reversal to the times when one woman died every 30 mins of pregnancy-related causes. What’s more, this decision takes place in a context where economic structures crumble, and poverty rapidly widens with more than 28 million Afghans in need of humanitarian assistance, out of which 64% are women and children.

Over 300 Afghan female health professionals provide the bulk of maternal and child medical care alongside with us today, and thousands more country-wide. They only have access and can assist other women. Taking away from them the basic right to educate and work in the service of others corresponds to denying health care to half of the afghan society, ignoring that health has no gender barriers.  Moreover, should the decision be implemented, it will cause even more suffering to thousands of vulnerable families that depend on a woman as a sole breadwinner in the household.

For Première Urgence Internationale, it is imperative that gains in health status of Afghans are protected, and that women and children can freely access medical care. This cannot be done without the right to education and having women working in communities and offices. Out of considerations for the Afghan population, we urge the authorities of the Islamic Emirate to suspend their decision and engage in dialogue in order to ensure an equal access to healthcare for all.


For more information and interview requests, please contact:

Sarah Bakaloglou, Press and Communication Officer: [email protected]

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