December 28, 2022

BRAC suspends operations in Afghanistan in light of latest decree barring women from working at NGOs

Kabul, Afghanistan—BRAC has suspended operations in Afghanistan following a directive from the government barring women from working in non-governmental organizations. The ban was announced on December 24th, coming days after an order for universities to suspend classes for women until further notice.

Women working in non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan have been at the forefront of delivering essential services to communities across the country. Over half of BRAC’s staff in Afghanistan are women. Without them, the organization cannot reach women and girls living in poverty, depriving those most at risk from accessing vital support.

Many non-governmental organizations have similarly suspended their operations in Afghanistan. The exclusion of women staff members obstructs the delivery of critical humanitarian and development interventions, and undermines the fundamental right of women to work.

Shameran Abed, Executive Director of BRAC International said, “Our work in Afghanistan cannot continue without the majority of our nearly 2,000 colleagues around the country―heroic women who have dedicated their lives to empowering other women and girls. We have suspended operations in Afghanistan until they can all resume work safely”.

BRAC International is a non-governmental organization operating in 16 countries across Asia and Africa, enabling large-scale, transformative change by empowering women and their families to overcome poverty. It has been operating in Afghanistan since 2002 and is currently present in 19 out of 34 provinces with programs in education, health and livelihoods.

Media contact

For US press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Wright, Director of Communications, BRAC USA: [email protected].