Female students express concerns over education ban’s impact on their future

Photo: Reuters. File photo.

Several female students expressed their concerns regarding their “uncertain future” as university entrance exams proceed while they remain prohibited from attending due to Taliban-imposed restrictions.

While the first round of university entrance exams took place in July across 11 provinces, the upcoming sessions in other regions maintain a sense of foreboding for female students who are unable to participate due to the constraints.

Female students, despite facing an unpredictable trajectory, maintained their aspirations to pursue education despite the existing ban.

Madina, a Kabul student, said she remains steadfast in her determination to pursue her educational aspirations.

Expressing her dissatisfaction over the missed opportunity to partake in the university entrance exams, Madina emphasized the dedication and hard work of women over the past decade should not be rendered futile.

“The university entrance exams must be conducted, safeguarding our 12 years of perseverance,” Madina underscored. Urging the swift conduction of the exams by the Taliban, she said, “The Taliban should organize our exams as soon as possible.”

As the Taliban continues to enforce higher education prohibition for women, female students are also barred from participating in university entrance exams, stripping away the chance for a substantial number of students to shape their future through education.

Iqlima, another student, highlighted the significance of women’s presence within society and affirmed that the Taliban cannot efface women and girls from societal realms by shuttering educational institutions.

“We constitute half of society. The Taliban cannot eradicate us from society by closing universities,” Iqlima asserted.

Mahbouba, a student, echoed the shared sentiments of many peers who feel the absence of education’s enriching environment. She called for concerted efforts to ensure women and girls regain access to schools and universities.

According to United Nations data, over 1.1 million girls have been deprived of schooling due to the Taliban’s 702-day ban on education.

In December of the previous year, the Taliban’s decision to shut universities for women was followed by a prohibition on women working within non-governmental agencies in Afghanistan.