Mr. Guterres, educating women is important, but not enough

Although depriving women of education is one of the most harmful actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan, all countries around the world, including Islamic institutions and international organizations, have condemned it and must stand up to this injustice against millions of Afghan girls. However, reducing all of Afghanistan’s problems to the issue of girls’ education is wrong, and those who lobby for the benefit of the Taliban are maliciously highlighting this aspect. Highlighting this issue at the cost of downplaying other calamities that the Taliban have brought to the Afghan people and putting the region on the brink of new threats, creates a false narrative of the countless problems that are plaguing the people of Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after the recent Doha meeting, referred to a number of current issues in Afghanistan, but he also emphasized the issue of education and asked the Taliban to end their policy of depriving women of education and work.

The Problem in Afghanistan Arises from the Lack of a Legitimate System and Emerges from the People’s vote. A group of armed individuals, with a history full of massacre and violence, has taken control of this country and seeks to strengthen its power by suppressing all political and social forces. This group neither respects the will of the people nor recognizes the existing intellectual, cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity, nor values the rule of law and the role of the constitution, nor accepts the separation of powers, nor accepts an independent judiciary, nor gives voice to anything called councils and parliaments, nor believes in citizenship rights, nor pays attention to the requirements of life in the modern world and international conventions.

Every international session on Afghanistan should focus on restoring the people’s role as a legitimate source, whether in cooperation with the Taliban or without their cooperation. If this group decides to abandon militancy, put violence aside, and transform into one of the political parties that legally operate alongside other parties and groups, then the people will be ready to overlook the past and pave the way for peace and sustainable stability.

If we are to discuss and have a conversation about the roadmap for the future of Afghanistan, a comprehensive package must be taken into account, which includes the right to education and work for Afghan women, not the most important one; because the most important one is the people’s right to determine their own fate. All the wrong and criminal decisions of the Taliban in Afghanistan stem from the fact that this group is not accountable to the people and derives its legitimacy from weapons and slaughter, not from the will and desire of the people. It is fundamentally impossible to achieve any reform in the complex and crisis-ridden situation of the country by imposing the rule of a semi-military group and denying the will of the people. If the root of Afghanistan’s problems is not addressed, teaching girls based on the Taliban’s educational threshold, which imposes their ideological beliefs on them, will only add to the problems of this country, which is neither a service to the state of girls nor help to the growth of culture and knowledge.