University entrance exams continue without female students


The third round of the university entrance exam took place on Thursday across 10 provinces in the country, with no female students allowed to participate.

Female students voiced their frustration at being denied their basic right to education and called on the United Nations and participants at the upcoming Doha meeting to address the barriers they face, including the prohibition on accessing higher education.

Thousands of male students took the examination in Takhar, Kunduz, Jawzjan, Sar-e Pol, Faryab, Urozgan, Baghlan, Daikundi, Balkh, and Badakhshan provinces. However, female students were barred from attending in all 10 provinces.

Among those affected is Deeba, a student profiled by Amu, who aspired to become a doctor. Despite being a top student throughout her 12 years of schooling, Deeba was unable to pursue higher education due to the Taliban’s nationwide ban on female university attendance.

“I was the top student from grades 1 through 12. It has been two years since I began preparing for the university entrance exam, but my future remains uncertain,” Deeba said. “I hope that the upcoming UN meeting will address the plight of girls like me who are sitting at home with an uncertain fate.”

Female students urged the UN and the international community to pressure the Taliban to reopen schools and universities for girls. “Following the news and knowing what is happening in Afghanistan is distressing,” said Meetra, another student. “I ask those in positions of power to pressure the new regime in Afghanistan because the lives of Afghan girls are being wasted.”

Somaya, also a student, echoed these sentiments, noting that she has been preparing for the university entrance exam for two years but has been unable to take it. She called on the UN and international community to ensure educational opportunities for female students.

This marks the second consecutive year that the Taliban have barred female students from taking university entrance examinations.