Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Taliban are against Girls’ Education

Amid rising insecurity, National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces foiled a planned suicide attack on a girls’ school in Kabul after security forces shot and wounded the would-be suicide bomber. The shooting incident occurred in Khoshi district of central Logar province, where the would-be bomber, Bakhtullah, had plotted the attack.
According to the NDS, Bakhtullah confessed to the plot during preliminary investigations. He reportedly said he had been appointed by Rehan, a commander of Haqqani network, to carry out the bombing. He told the NDS that the plan had been to bomb a girls’ school in Chahar Asiab district of Kabul.
Taliban insurgents have always been against the education of girls in Afghanistan. They have made many attempts to discourage female education. The places where they have a strong hold, Taliban never allow the females to even think of getting modern education. In certain cases, they are only allowed to get basic Arabic education, and nothing more than that.
It is unfortunate to note that it is not just Taliban who are against female education; there are many families in rural parts of the country where the education of the girls is impossible. As most of those areas are dominated by patriarchy, religious extremism and tribalism, the thoughts of the people are still very much conservative. Moreover, as per the parochial tribal norms and extremist religious beliefs women are not meant to get education. Their duties are bound to be inside the boundaries of their houses, which they do not have the right to leave in any condition except after the permission of an authoritative male member. Though there have been some improvements made to counter the traditional beliefs regarding the female education, they are mostly limited to only a couple of large cities, while most of the small cities and villages do not have proper or any arrangement for the education of women.
Moreover, the efforts that are carried out in some way or the other are not without opposition - most of the times the opposition comes in the form of ruthless violence. There have been many incidents when the lunatic culprits have thrown acids on the faces of the girls who go to schools. Poisoning of the schoolgirls has been very common. Even in the capital Kabul, there were many occasions when hundreds of school girls were poisoned through mysterious gases. In certain cases, Taliban even bombed girls’ schools so as to destroy them completely. Parents, who are interested to let their girls get education, have to think thousand times because for them the lives of their children are dearer than their education. However, it should be mentioned here that this sort of incidents are really very cowardly and they depict that the culprits are not capable of attracting others towards their bogus ideas so they take the support of violence on weaker strata of society.
In fact it is not just the education of the girls that has been influenced much by the extremist and backward thinking in Afghan society; rather the whole education system has been going through difficulties. Continuous wars for decades have left Afghan society suffer in so many fields and areas and education is also one of them. Particularly, after the rise of Taliban in 1996, the decline of education system which was already not in a satisfactory condition, started. Taliban banned the female education and promulgated the madressah system of education, which was based on a very obsolete and improper methodology.
The students were confined to a single approach towards education and that was the Clergy approach, which depended on an extremist interpretation of Islam and Islamic concepts. Investigation and research were banned strictly, and students called as Talibs were not allowed to question their teachers. Rather, they were asked to blindly follow what the Clergy approach had to offer them. The basic purpose of education was thus non-existent in the so-called education systems of Taliban. They were more like training camps for generating cadre for terrorist groups.
Today the situation has improved; however, it has yet to go miles so as to reach the required destination. The important factor to note is that the drawbacks in the system are hurting the weaker strata of the society to a larger extent and unfortunately women belongs to one of the same. Therefore, there are such incidents of violation of their rights throughout the country. Taliban insurgents are always seeking opportunities where they should be able to target females who pursue education and thus understand their rights and raise voice against the discrimination and violence against women.

It is important that government authorities should take strict notice of incidents that inflict or try to inflict violence against women and must try to make sure that the system treats every stratum of society, particularly the women, in accordance to the demands of justice.