Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 18th, 2021

What Values Must be Survive as the Conclusion of Peace With Taliban

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What Values Must be Survive as the  Conclusion of Peace With Taliban

Gender apartheid is not acceptable for the people of Afghanistan today. Therefore, women’s right of education must be survive as the conclusion of peace with Taliban. The issue of gender is an important question, which for the past hundred years has been at the forefront of Afghan politics. However, in Afghan society, men are the breadwinner. This fact caused more fragile figure for women through history. Nowadays, women are the most vulnerable part of society in the country. Sadly, promoting gender equality will not be easy because culturally, Afghanistan has a very pessimistic point of view against women’s progress and their social position. Beside efforts from the government, civil society’s activists, still many do not tolerate women’s voice and their empowerment. Conversely, under the Taliban rule, many opportunities and significant facilities for learning were limited and women freedom totally restricted. From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban have been forcing women to follow their own rules and they even treated them more harshly. Taliban religious police used to give severe punishment on disobeying the moral orders, including public executions, amputation and stoning. Many women and girls were unable to go to school. For various reasons Taliban have been deprived Afghan women from their elementary rights. They were not even allowed to come out of their homes without a male member of the family. The view against women, placed them as a subordinate gender in the society.  Among the Taliban’s most systematic and destructive abuses against women was the denial of education.  The Taliban program has severely affected the education system all over Afghanistan. They destroyed and damaged both girls´ and boys´ schools in their areas. Hundreds of schools have been attacked, due to insurgency. Girls were often kept at home because of the harmful gender Taliban norms that do not value or neglect their education, while education offers a bright future to all women. Access to education is a right of every human being, particularly women, irrespective of race, family, language, social standing. In addition, the Taliban administration was not in accordance with the religion, and people were not in agreement with its unjust political, economic and cultural rules. The hateful behavior of the Taliban has given rise to everyone in the world that the Taliban are totally against girls´ education.  It was one of the reason that the international community have not yet recognized Emirate System except three countries; Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.   With the fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan acknowledged the idea that women form half of society. Following that, the government established the Department of Women’s Affairs and the bases of a strategy for women empowerment. As the consequence, women became active in the field of mass media as well as political parties. After investing of two decades’ time and fund, today the government is proud to announce that accessibility of education for girls is one of their major achievements.  We are pleased to have also a good gender balance in Peace Negotiation Team. There is no doubt that the people of Afghanistan demand a just peace, which can guarantee the rights of all citizens including women and children as well as keeping the achievements of the last two decades. After approving the release of prisoners via the Consultative Loya Jirga on August 9 2020, the government got officially the responsibility of fostering peace process to explore the Afghan hopes and dreams. On the other hand, if the Taliban want to be part of the mainstream politics in Afghanistan, they need to change their attitudes towards girls education and ensure gender equality because this is the only solution for achieving a long-lasting peace /or a stable society in Afghanistan. Taliban must be ready to bring changes in their view about education, especially girls´ education. Many parents want education for their children including their daughters. They want education at the village, and university level. One of the principles that must be survive, as the conclusion of peace with the Taliban is women’s right for education.  It is the central concern for women when they are considering peace with the Taliban and how peace processes should function.  Since still the Taliban actively combat those elements of the modern condition that contribute to the entry of women into the public sphere, including mass coeducation, mixed sex factory and office work women´s entry into many professions in Afghanistan. It would be wise for the Taliban to make a compromise about female education. It is what will change their black face to white one.
As the final point, the gender apartheid is known as an extreme in the country now. Taliban ideology in itself is injustice to women.  For that reason, if Taliban do not agree on modern education of both male and female, surely they can not be part of the government/ or on power any more. The public strongly want from the government  and international community the women right for education as it is going now. People want from the Peace Negotiation Team to make clear all the terms and the conclusions of their agreements with the citizens as well as the answers for the civil society questions: What does peace mean for the Taliban? What different sorts of violence are we concerned with in Afghanistan? If we seek justice, will peace follow? What values must be embraced for peace to survive? At present time, in the areas of Taliban women are not allowed to work outside the home. The importance and impact of educating girls is the critical role of women in the context of peace and reconciliation, which is serving as a vehicle for ensuring that national negotiation processes reflect grassroots perspectives and needs, and providing an opportunity for bridging between men and women.  In this situation, peace gives the fruit: girls have a right to education too; otherwise, the imported peace will not have any meaning more in this war torn state.

Dawlat Bakhtiari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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