In addition to the ban on girls’ education beyond the sixth grade, it has been a year since women were prohibited from pursuing higher education in universities. These young women had hoped for the chance to receive education and pursue their careers, but unfortunately, their aspirations have been put on hold.
The Ministry of Higher Education of the Taliban administration, last November, issued a written directive to both private and public universities, instructing them to “suspend” the education of girls until further notice.
The ban on education has deprived millions of girls from attending schools and universities despite international condemnation of this prohibition. However, no concrete actions have been taken to provide hope for the reopening of schools and universities for girls.
Medina is a journalism student at Kabul University, and she celebrates completing her education because, as she puts it, if she could continue her studies like boys, she would. She works day and night to secure an independent future and hopes to create her desired future. However, she laments, “My education and future are now just a lingering dream for me.”
She said that she never imagined that outdated ideologies would dominate the fate of thousands of girls. She said, “We didn’t have a good economic situation, and my father worked tirelessly with limited resources to educate his children. I aspired to one day complete my education and have a job to support my family and my father.”
According to this student, in a situation with no job opportunities for girls, not completing her education and lacking the necessary documents have also taken away her limited job prospects.
On the other hand, Bashir Ahmad Mohammadi, a communication and journalism student at Kabul University who has recently graduated from this field, expressed his dismay in an interview with Khaama Press regarding the fact that girls are excluded from this level of education.
He stated, “I am deeply saddened and, at the same time, disappointed that women in our country are being left out of our educational system during this period of intellectual growth and talent development. They are the future builders of our nation.”
Mohammadi emphasized his support for girls’ education in the country, emphasizing that “when an educated woman emerges, a society becomes educated and enlightened.”
It’s worth noting that online education, scholarships, hidden schools within homes, language centres, and visual arts, including painting and drawing, are some avenues through which many deprived girls pursue education.
Hana Ahadi, another student studying law and political science, couldn’t fulfil her aspiration to graduate from this field. She shared with Khaama Press, “I am concerned not only for my most basic rights but also for the efforts and hardships I have endured, for all the dreams and goals I had set, and for all the girls like me who have been deprived of the right to education.”
She described her absence among this year’s graduates as an unfulfilled wish, as she had hoped to complete this course with her efforts before entering university.
This comes as UNESCO’s education, scientific, and cultural organization reported that the number of female students in Afghan universities had reached 103,854 in 2021. However, after the ban on girls’ university attendance, these numbers plummeted to zero in 2023.