Does Boys Dropping Out of School/Universities Help?
It has been three and a half months since the Taliban declared that women would not be allowed to attend universities and educational centers until further notice. Yesterday, the academic year began without women and girls, and the Taliban are still actively destroying educational curriculum, firing educational staff, and replacing them with people who share their beliefs. Although men have also faced hardship, such as being forced to resign or being fired, it is nothing compared to the suffering of women. Some had hoped that the ban on girls‘ education was a political measure to gain leverage in negotiations with the West, and that the “further notice” would be issued by the end of the winter holiday. However, this did not come to pass, and their predictions were incorrect. At Hasht–e–Subh, we analyze Taliban orders, reports, and documents to demonstrate how they are systematically working to silence any dissenting voices, kill any curious minds, and fiercely oppose any disobedience. Among the Taliban‘s main decision–makers, a jihadi mentality prevails, and they view the country as a prize to be used to prepare for a regional holy war. They have made their goals clear and have been implementing them in practice. Most recently, the Taliban‘s Minister of Education, Mullah Neda Mohammad Nadim, stated that there would be no place in the education system for those who do not accept the Islamic emirate‘s way of educating.
In such a situation, what can those who do not accept the Taliban regime and consider the exclusion of women from work and education to be an unforgivable oppression do? Can the Taliban be forced to retreat through the usual civil means, such as strikes, protests, and mass dropouts? We understand the great pain that comes with being denied the right to work and learn due to one‘s gender, and everyone understands that the future will be dark and grim for half of society if this situation continues. Therefore, it is necessary for male students and professors to provide emotional support to their deprived sisters, and we should all work hard to end this tragedy. However, civil disobedience such as the withdrawal of a large group of male students from education has little effect on the Taliban‘s decision. Firstly, our society is not in a position to truly mobilize the majority of male students against the gender apartheid of the Taliban, as the Taliban mentality among students and professors is deeply rooted. Secondly, if ordinary men withdraw from school and universities themselves, they would in reality be aiding the Taliban in their mission of purging the educational system of ordinary citizens and filling it with Mullahs and Jihadi fighters.
Fighting for education, freedom, and progress requires patience, dedication, and radical action, and the reopening of universities and schools is only the start. It is essential to continually remind ourselves and the younger generation that every school desk and every university desk is a platform for the fight against marginalization and backwardness, and we should not abandon it. Boys should use the disadvantage of their sisters‘ lack of access to education as a strength. They should oppose Talabani‘s oppression in classes, seminars, and meetings, and emphasize the absolute right of all genders to have access to education. Outside of educational centers, they should assist with their sisters’ education, find ways to counteract the influence of the Taliban, and move towards enlightenment.