News|Afghanistan|25 January 2023

Afghanistan: Empowered women and girls are essential for a better future -

for everyone 

Street Child

Within the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed further restrictions on the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan after the de-facto authorities announced Afghan women were banned from working for any non-government organisations and from attending university. This decision further reverses significant progress in gender equality and equity. 


Street Child has been working in Afghanistan since 1997, originally through Children in Crisis. Delivering our programmes to ensure children are safe, in school and learning has been challenging. Recent developments have made the delivery of our work harder, but we are determined to do all we can to stay operational and effective. We are continuing to deliver daily education to over 100,000 primary school children, 50% of which are girls, including in remote locations where it is often the first time there is access to formal education. We are concerned the recent decision from the de-facto authorities will have an adverse impact on girls’ attendance at primary school as well as removing important female role models within their communities. 


Female staff, including teachers, are essential for us to deliver quality education, psychosocial support, and protection for boys and girls in Afghanistan. We cannot effectively function without the assurance of access for both male and female staff. 


We are calling for all female staff to be allowed to return to work and resume the provision of life-saving aid and assistance, and we are only continuing our programmes where we have received the appropriate assurances that allow our female teachers to teach. The safety of our staff is our priority and we continue to closely monitor this development.


We are committed to ensuring our operations can continue to run and we will continue to advocate for the de-facto authorities to reverse the ban, allowing women to work for humanitarian organisations. We will continue to raise our voice to advocate for women and girls to be able to pursue secondary and tertiary education in the days and months ahead. It is critical that decades of progress for women and girls are not reversed. 


We are also calling for funders to exercise flexibility as we advocate for principled humanitarian action, international leaders to intensify diplomatic action, and the international community to continue investing in Afghanistan. 


Now, more than ever, it is critical we do not forget the people of Afghanistan.