NRC chief optimistic about return of women to work


KABUL (SW) – The Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council has said that after meeting with the authorities of the Islamic Emirate, he hopes that the female employees of this organization will return to work.

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, expressed these views in conversation with Salam Watandar. Mr. Egeland emphasized that the continuation of their activities in Afghanistan requires the presence of female employees in action. During his second trip to Afghanistan, Mr. Egeland met with the officials of the Islamic Emirate in Kandahar and Kabul.

The Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council emphasized that the absence of female employees of this institution has prevented the organization from providing important services. “After my visit to Kandahar and Kabul and the meeting with the leaders of the Taliban and the government, I now hope that our female colleagues will soon return to their work in many regions and many provinces and will help women, children and other Afghans in need,” he said.

“I believe that the authorities have understood that we have never violated the traditional values of Afghans or Islamic values to ban women’s work and prevents us from engaging in important activities.”

However, the officials of the Ministry of Economy of the Islamic Emirate do not give Salam Watandar any details about this proposed return of women to work.

Women’s rights activists in Afghanistan are skeptical about the idea that the Islamic Emirate will easily agree to change its approach to women’s rights.

Soraya Pikan and Hasna Roufi, two women’s rights activists, said:

“This is the responsibility of the caretaker government, this government must ensure better relationship with the people, women are part of the Afghan society, they have the right to work and study.”

“As we witnessed, first the gates of schools were closed to girls, then the gates of universities were closed, then restrictions were imposed on women in the media and they were also banned from working in non-government organizations, all this shows that the government is not honest about equal rights for women.”

It should be mentioned that since the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan, it has imposed many restrictions on women. Contrary to consistent global demands to remove these restrictions, the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate has always continue with these restrictions.