Thanks to President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban retook power and has since imposed strict Islamist policies on Afghans, which includes restrictions on women’s education. College test takers were surprised to find that specific exams were removed, such as agriculture, economics, engineering, geology, journalism, and veterinary medicine.
CBS News reported the Taliban’s move, which disheartened many young women who were shocked to see that their preferred subject was not included in the slate of entrance exams.
The Taliban’s Ministry of Higher Education did not comment on the withdrawal of subjects from college entrance exams.
One student told CBS News that she felt “so hopeless” and was crying over the Taliban’s sudden decision. She concluded, “Then I chose literature, only because my family invested in my education over the past 12 years, and I could not let them down.”
Another student said that she intended to study civil engineering, but found out that she could not take an engineering entrance exam. During her phone interview, she said, “I’ve been studying hard and preparing for the field of my choice for the past two years, but these oppressors and enemies of women don’t even let us study what book we want. Where is the justice?” The student added, “They say these fields are too difficult for women to handle, and instead women should learn how to raise better children.”
A female student, who wanted to study journalism, was forced to take an entrance exam for pharmacology. She was a survivor of the tragic suicide bombing at an education center in Kabul and defiantly stated, “The result of this exam is not important for me” and that her taking the exam “shows our resilience.”
Ever since the Biden administration’s sudden and poorly-executed withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, women’s’ rights have been severely curtailed, if not eliminated, under the Taliban’s rule. Some examples are the ending of public education for girls above the age of 12, classroom segregation based on sex, and women forcibly removed from government jobs.
As much as the Biden administration claims that it is fighting for feminism, the effects and consequences of its Afghanistan withdrawal do not back up their assertions.