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Taliban permit female enrollment in state medical schools

AT News

KABUL – The Taliban have authorized the enrollment of female high school graduates in state-run medical institutes in Afghanistan for the upcoming academic year starting in March, according to state-run Bakhtar news agency.

The Ministry of Public Health in Kabul has issued a directive facilitating the enrollment process in over a dozen Afghan provinces. However, specific details beyond this directive were not provided by the Bakhtar news agency.

As of now, there has been no immediate response from the de facto Afghan authorities regarding the reported directive from the health ministry.

Since seizing control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have enforced strict measures, including banning girls from education beyond the sixth grade and prohibiting women from working in both public and private sectors.

The reported decision by the health ministry potentially offers a ray of hope for female graduates to resume their education and pursue careers in the healthcare sector, one of the few fields where women are still permitted to work.

Concerns have been raised by aid organizations regarding the impact of restrictions on women’s education and employment on the already fragile Afghan healthcare system, which has not produced a single doctor for over a year.

The United Nations has repeatedly emphasized the importance of girls’ education and women’s participation in all aspects of Afghan society. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored this during an international conference in Qatar, where engagement with Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities was discussed.

Guterres stressed the need for girls’ education while reaffirming the fundamental right of women and girls to fully participate in Afghan society.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch highlighted the severe repercussions of reduced foreign aid on Afghanistan’s healthcare system, exacerbated by the Taliban’s stringent restrictions on women’s employment.

The report noted that these restrictions have significantly impeded women’s access to healthcare services and hindered the training of future female healthcare workers in Afghanistan.

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