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Sunday, January 29, 2023, 12:45
Afghan female students not allowed to sit uni entrance exam
By Reuters
Sunday, January 29, 2023, 12:45 By Reuters

In this file photo taken on Oct 13, 2022, Afghan female students take an entrance exam at Kabul University in Kabul. (PHOTO / AFP)

KABUL - The Taliban-run Ministry of Higher Education ordered private universities in Afghanistan not to allow female students to sit university entrance exams next month, underscoring its policy to restrict women from tertiary education.

A letter from the ministry was addressed to institutions in Afghanistan's northern provinces, including Kabul, where exams are due to take place from the end of February. 

According to the letter, those institutions that did not observe the rules would face legal action

According to the letter, those institutions that did not observe the rules would face legal action.

The Higher Education Ministry in December told universities not to allow female students "until further notice". Days later, the administration stopped most female NGO workers from working. Most girls' highschools have also been closed by authorities.

ALSO READ: UNSC denounces Taliban bans on women in Afghanistan

The restrictions on women's work and education have drawn condemnation internationally. Western diplomats have signaled the Taliban would need to change course on its policies towards women to have a chance of formal international recognition and an easing of its economic isolation.

The country is in the midst of an economic crisis, partly due to sanctions affecting its banking sector and a cut in development funding, with aid agencies warning tens of millions are in need of urgent aid.

READ MORE: Taliban ban women from parks, morality ministry says

However, a World Bank report this week also said the Taliban administration, which has said it is focused on more economic self-sufficiency, had kept revenue collection strong last year and exports had lifted.

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