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Taliban asks women working in Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry to suggest male relatives to replace them

Afghanistan woman

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Kabul: The Taliban have asked women working at Afghanistan‘s Finance Ministry to send a male relative to do their job a year after female public-sector workers were barred from government work and told to stay at home, media reports said.

Women who worked in government positions were sent home from their jobs shortly after the Taliban took power in August 2021, and have been paid heavily reduced salaries to do nothing, The Guardian reported.

But several women told The Guardian they had received similar calls from Taliban officials requesting they recommend male relatives in their place, because the “workload in the office has increased and they need to hire a man instead of us”, according to one woman who did not wish her identity to be revealed.

It is not clear if women from other state departments have also been asked to send male relatives to do their job. However, at least 60 female workers from the Finance Department received similar calls.

“The Taliban have a history of eliminating women, so hearing this is not surprising or new,” said Sahar Fetrat, assistant researcher with the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has documented extensively the Taliban’s atrocities against women since they took over Afghanistan, The Guardian reported.

Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, said in May: “Current restrictions on women’s employment have been estimated to result in an immediate economic loss of up to $ 1bn or up to 5 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP.

“There is almost universal poverty in the country,” she added. “An entire generation is threatened by food insecurity and malnutrition.”

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