In Afghanistan, the Taliban's "war on schooling for girls" has
been running into resistance from many tribes. There are a number of reasons
why these otherwise religiously conservative, tradition-bound tribesmen have
decided to resist the Taliban's efforts to curb education for girls.
in many traditional societies (not just Islamic ones, either) women have
second-class status, behind the scenes the story can be quite different. In
Islam (as in Latin America, China, India, etc.), women are often important
managers of family businesses and property. They are also frequently valued
behind-the-scenes advisors to husbands and sons who are the tribal
tribesmen also view their daughters as valuable assets. A carefully arranged
marriage can bring important political or economic connections. There can also
be immediate monetary benefits in the form of "bride price." An educated
daughter is thus inherently more "valuable" than an illiterate one.
Taliban's efforts to block education for girls is seen as a direct blow against
some tribal traditions. The Taliban has apparently begun to notice this, and in
at least one instance has publicly has stated it will no longer target schools,
and that it intends to open special schools for girls. This message, however,
seems not to have reached some Taliban operatives, who continue to attack
schools, and it certainly has not convinced many of the tribesmen who have been
victims of these attacks.