According to a document sent to The Sunday Times, the Taliban might be, could be, fingers-crossed ready to promote women's education as part of a bid to restart peace talks with the West. Though The Times couldn't independently verify the paper's authenticity, it reportedly demonstrates current thinking among among Taliban leaders (the paper claims that a source with links to the Quetta shura, the Taliban's Pakistan-based leadership council, provided the latest policy paper).

The paper states, "Women are also a big part of our human society," and that, therefore, "the Islamic emirate will create a level ground for women's education in light of its constitution." During its years in power, the Taliban prevented women from working outside the home. More recently, girls have been attending school despite some violent backlashes and inadequate funding. The paper, if it actually does reflect the Taliban's thinking, could help consolidate some of the educational opportunities that have opened up for women in Afghanistan.

Report: Paper reveals Taliban softening stance on girls' education [MSNBC]