Many graduate medical students throughout the nation have reacted to the decision to no longer allow female students to take the "exit exam," the final medical exam.
They said that the years they spent studying medicine would be wasted if they were denied the opportunity to take this exam.
Noria, a graduate student of Kabul University's medical faculty, said that she registered for the final exam a month and a half ago.
"The seven years we spent studying medicine were not simple years. Hearing this news is quite upsetting because we passed several challenging tests,” Noria said.
According to female graduate students, they are unable to enroll in the specialty course unless they pass this test.
"We cannot join the specialized exam without passing the exit exam, and we are not allowed to work,” Noria added.
The National Examination Authority of Afghanistan suspended the final exam for female students until further notice on Sunday, February 12, and scheduled the exam for male students for February 18.
A number of male students asked the Islamic Emirate to allow female students to participate in the exam.
"They should as quickly as possible clear the exam time for our sisters, so that those of our sisters that have been shocked get rid of stress,” said Jamshid, a student.
Meanwhile, many medical professionals believe that the medical field has a critical need for educated women.
"There is a great need for more female physicians in Afghan society since maternal and child mortality in Afghanistan is among the highest in Asia," said Najm Sama Shafa, a doctor.
"Any delay in the education of female physicians and female students is a tragedy for the country,” said Azizullah Amir, a specialist in heart disease.
The National Examination Authority did not comment on the issue.
Some graduates of Kabul University's medical school in a letter made a request that the exam be administered first to female students.
Earlier, the Ministry of Higher Education banned women from taking the entrance exam for the 1402 (solar year) for admission to universities and private higher education institutions.
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