Threats Surface Against Afghan Women at Foreign NGOs

The Taliban has issued death threats against Afghan women working for foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Extremists have extended a jihad, or holy war, against humanitarian groups working for the reconstruction of the country, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Pamphlets distributed in the eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan stated that “those women who are working with foreign NGOs will definitely suffer punishment of death,” according to Reuters. “The security situation has deteriorated in the last six months, particularly in Ghazni province,” said Manoel de Almeida e Silva, a United Nations spokesperson, according to the Monitor. “Aid agencies that have been attacked will not continue working in those areas, and deploy to places that are safer.” Foreign aid groups that worked in dangerous areas of Afghanistan over the country’s 23 years of war are now pulling out because of the current lack of security, according to the Monitor.

The United Nations Security Council recently adopted a resolution giving NATO approval to expand international security assistance forces (ISAF) beyond the capital city of Kabul, after over a year of urging by Afghan government ministers, women’s and human rights groups, and NGOs. The Feminist Majority is leading the call for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

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Reuters 10/24/03; CS Monitor 10/28/03; Feminist Daily News

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