A Thousand Splendid Suns

Why does Laila's father believe in the importance of education for women?

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Laila has a father who emphasizes the importance of her education. Hakim diligently works with Laila on her homework and provides her with extra work in order to expand her education. He emphasizes that Laila's education is as important as that of any boy. After the streets of Kabul become too dangerous, he insists on tutoring Laila himself. He comments about the importance of women attending universities. He thinks that the only way for his country to go forward is to educate their girls: otherwise they will remain in the past while the Western world progresses. 

Laila’s father believes in the importance of education because of his belief in the fact that women should be educated before taking a husband and that a progressive society can only be acquired by the education of women in that of a western society. This can be found in the novel,’’Women have always had a hand in this country’’(135)This shows how Lailia’s father has a rare respect for women that is quite rare in Afghanistan. The character believes in the progression in western society and how if the people of the country don’t adapt then Afghanistan will be left behind. This has quite a contrast to the beliefs of characters like Rasheed who believes westernization is something of a plague. In the novel Laila’s father states,’’ Laila, my love, the only enemy an afghan cannot defeat is himself’’ This can be interpreted in different ways but one of the many can be that Afghanistan is almost a tool of self destruction. So if a man can’t defeat himself he can’t accept something and that something is the education of women. It seems obvious that he is against this idea not only because of his beliefs in westernization but also his ideas of Afghanistan without thus progression.