Female medical graduates in Afghanistan urge Taliban to permit exit exams

Female graduates from medical universities in Afghanistan are calling on the Taliban to allow them to take their exit exams, a crucial step in beginning their medical careers. The Taliban has prohibited these graduates from taking the exam for over 370 days.

Diba, a graduate who moved from Badghis to study at Herat University, expressed her frustration. “I’ve been away from my family for seven years to study medicine. Now, the Taliban’s ban on the exit exam has shattered my dream of becoming a doctor,” she said. Despite her efforts, Diba has faced job rejections due to lacking the necessary credentials and has resorted to tailoring at home.

The ban on exit exams for female medical students comes amid warnings from the UN and international organizations about Afghanistan’s shortage of female medical professionals. This scarcity, particularly in rural areas, poses significant health risks to the population.

Shikiba, another medical graduate, echoed the concerns. “It’s disheartening to see our hard work go to waste over the past two years,” she stated.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Public Health recently announced the enrollment of 12th-grade female graduates in medical institutes in 11 of 34 provinces. However, this decision is currently in limbo as the Taliban retracted their statement. Furthermore, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also removed a post in which it initially welcomed the Taliban’s decision for female student enrollment.