Islamabad — Taliban education officials in Afghanistan launched university entrance exams in almost half of the country’s 34 provinces Thursday, with no female students present for the third consecutive year.

The National Examination Authority, which conducts the multistage exam process, has stated that it plans to admit at least 75,000 male candidates to public and private universities this year.

Since reclaiming power three years ago, the hardline Taliban have barred girls 12 and older from attending school beyond sixth grade in Afghanistan. The ban was abruptly extended to female university students in December 2022, depriving them of completing their higher education.

The Taliban’s men-only government has placed sweeping restrictions on women’s rights and freedom of movement, prohibiting many of them from public and private workplaces.

The United Nations and human rights groups have persistently decried and demanded the Taliban remove curbs on Afghan women’s access to education and work.

This Saturday, June 8, will mark 1,000 days since the de facto Afghan authorities prohibited female secondary education, impacting more than one million girls nationwide.

“Afghanistan will never fully recover from these 1,000 days,” Heather Barr, women’s rights associate director at Human Rights Watch, told VOA via email.

“The potential loss in this time – the artists, doctors, poets, and engineers who will never get to lend their country their skills – cannot be replaced. Every additional day, more dreams die,” Barr stated.

The Taliban defend their governance as being in line with Afghan culture and their strict interpretation of Islamic law, dismissing calls for reforms as interference in the country’s internal matters.  


No foreign country has formally granted diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government, mainly over human rights concerns and its harsh treatment of Afghan women.  


Corporal punishment 


The fundamentalist rulers have also ignored U.N. calls for halting the public flogging of Afghan men and women convicted of crimes such as “moral crimes” and running away from home, among others.  


The latest such punishments were carried out Tuesday when a group of 63 people, including 14 women, were publicly subjected to mass flogging at a sports ground in the northern Afghan city of Sar-e Pul.  


“We are deeply disturbed by the widespread, continued use of corporal punishment in Afghanistan,” Jeremy Laurence, the U.N. human rights spokesperson, said Wednesday.  

He noted the accused reportedly were lashed between 15 and 39 times before being returned to prison to complete their sentences. Laurence reminded the Taliban that corporal punishment “is a clear violation” of international human rights law. 


“We again urge the de facto authorities to immediately cease all forms of corporal punishment. Furthermore, we call on the de facto authorities to ensure full respect for due process and fair trial rights, in particular access to legal representation, for anyone facing criminal charges.” 


The Taliban have publicly flogged hundreds of men and women in sports stadiums across the country since seizing power in 2021. At least five Afghans convicted of murder have also been executed publicly by gunfire. 

leave a reply:

Discover more from WFool

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading