The de facto Taliban authorities' decree banning women [from working in non-governmental organizations] has a psychological impact on me. I am afraid. I am afraid that if I am not allowed to work, how will I support my family? 

Right now, I am the main breadwinner of my family. We are not in a good economic condition and my job is what gives us a stable livelihood. 

Even though I could send my children to school to continue their education, they would have required stationery, school fees, transportation costs, and so on. 

This ban made me lose hope in what I envisioned for my children's future. 

I don’t have a mahram available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Apart from doing my work, I am living in a society where I must go out and buy our family's basic needs, such as food, clothing, and so on. When I go outside, I'm afraid. I am afraid that they will stop me and beat me. 

On top of that, as a female aid worker, I am worried about being stopped and questioned at the Taliban checkpoints. I feel stressed and anxious every time. 

I call on the international community to not abandon Afghan women and girls who are the victims of these bans and discriminatory rules. 

Millions of girls are banned from attending schools and universities and working with humanitarian organizations. 

I am worried this ban will encourage even more gender-based violence and forced marriage. It will exacerbate food insecurity and malnutrition as the lack of female participation in the workforce will mean women and children will never have access to these essential services. 

The international community must stand for Afghan women's rights and engage in dialogue with the Taliban to reverse these bans so that women and girls can go to work and universities. 

This is having a toll on me psychologically. I am worried about my children's future. If the bans continue, I will consider migrating abroad to secure a safe future for my children. 

I feel depressed. As an aid worker, I don't feel safe, and I am afraid for my life. I am worried that I might be targeted because of my job.


Name and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the humanitarian worker.