Top Kankor female student appeals to Taliban to lift education ban

Elham Nabizada, the top-scoring student in this year’s university entrance exam, calls on the Taliban to reverse their decision and allow women in Afghanistan to pursue their education.

Nabizada, a student of Hatifi High School in Herat, managed to get first place by obtaining 348.66 points and was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at Herat University.

She said the Taliban’s decision to ban girls and women from education has “destroyed all her dreams.”

Nabizada, who has many life goals, said she spent years working hard to get top marks in the Kankor exam in the hope of being accepted to study in her profession of choice. But now, her hopes have been dashed, as she can no longer go to university.

“I really don’t know what to say. Why did they close the university doors to us? While Islam has given us the right to education. Just tell us why they don’t let us study. They should give the reason; if the problem is from our side, we will adjust according to their condition, just let us study,” she said.

Nabizada stated that girls and women in all Islamic countries and all around the world are allowed to study and yet “we are the only Islamic country where we (women) are not allowed to study. I really don’t understand where we are going and what they want.”

We need female professionals

Frishta Yaqoubi, a women’s rights activist in Herat, said that Afghanistan is the only Islamic country in the world where education is prohibited for women and that they have been denied access to their fundamental rights.

Yaqoubi raised concerns over the consequences of the Taliban’s decision stating: “When half of the society is removed, it brings various consequences, including economic, educational, cultural and social problems, and on the other hand, we cannot present an educated generation to society. We need women specialists in various fields in every society.”

She emphasized the need to reverse the Taliban decision as soon as possible, calling on the Taliban not to deprive women of their rights so that Afghanistan moves toward development.

Taliban does not want a developed Afghanistan

Nahid Farid, a former Afghan parliament member, stated that “the ruling group’s (Taliban) policies have turned girls and women into missing persons in Afghanistan and this group has taken the Afghan people hostage.”

According to Farid, the Taliban has deprived half of society of education, and the group does not want Afghanistan to progress.

She added that the rights of women in Afghanistan should not become a bargaining tool for the Taliban with the world.

The Taliban-run ministry of higher education last week ordered all public and private universities to suspend education for women until further notice, which triggered worldwide condemnation. In the latest move, the Taliban also barred women from working for NGOs across the country.