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Our WorkAs the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration, IOM plays a key role to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through different areas of intervention that connect both humanitarian assistance and sustainable development. Across Afghanistan, IOM addresses capacity building in migration management, migration and development development, migrant assistance and labour migration.
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I am one of the female aid workers in Afghanistan and, like all the other female staff, this ban has really had an impact on my life. It causes me a lot of psychological pressure. I didn’t even know how to deal with it. It’s a nightmare.
It is so unfair to be excluded from your rights because of your gender. Working is not only my dream or a human right, it is also the way I support my family.
Even before the ban, as a female employee, I faced many challenges. The security situation in the country has always been bad. It's not just the challenges of movement or the problems with the Hejab, overall, it was already a struggle.
Earlier last year there was a shooting in our province, we were in the field and while community members were fighting with each other - one of them started shouting next to us: ‘Where are the women staff? Tell me! I will kill them! Where are they?’ We were petrified.
Since the ban, we are even more stopped at checkpoints, and I fear these checkpoints because when they stop me, even though I have a UN ID card and a permission letter, they behave by treating us disrespectfully and threatening us.
But now, I'm done lamenting. I am angry. Women are half of a country, and we were not born to stay at home, cook or give birth. Let us work, let us learn, and let us live!
To all women, remember: the tree that survives the storm will become the strongest tree in the ground!
Name and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the humanitarian worker.