On December 24 2022, the de-facto authorities in Afghanistan issued a ban on women working for foreign aid organizations. We temporarily paused our in-person trainings for the safety of our team and participants. Since then, we’ve secured permission at the district and provincial levels to reopen some training centers, with female staff continuing to teach and train our participants. In other areas, our female colleagues are still working from home. Our work is locally-led by individuals who are from the same communities as the women we serve and it’s because of these established local relationships that we are able to resume our programs, albeit at a reduced level of operations.
At the moment seven of our training centers are operational across three provinces with over 1,690 women enrolled.
We're relieved that we've been able to reopen in some areas, but we are extremely concerned about the women in other locations for whom our program was offering a lifeline in the face of a humanitarian crisis and crippling economic situation. Without all of our female staff being able to work, we cannot reach women in Afghanistan with the support they need and deserve. So, we are continuing our efforts alongside other local, international and UN agencies to advocate for an end to the ban.
Afghan women deserve the right to work, to learn and take part in the life of their country. We will not give up until they are able to do so.