Minister of Women’s Affairs Calls for Female Votes
ABUL- Husn Bano Ghazanfar, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, on Tuesday spoke to a gathering in Kabul in which she said getting Afghan women to participate in the upcoming elections was imperative, and that it would be the only way to ensure continued progress on women’s issues.
The spring elections have been called the most important test for the Afghan government in the past twelve years, marking what could be its first peaceful transition of Presidential power. More broadly, the upcoming elections, in the context of the NATO troop withdraw, are expected to determine whether or not the progress of the past decade is built upon in the coming years, or rolled back.
In many Afghans’ minds, the most vulnerable type of progress as Afghanistan steps forward without the massive presence of foreign troops and civilians it has seen over the past decade is the status of women.
Afghan women have seen their rights, quality of life and place in society dramatically improve since the time of the Taliban, but most of their advocates say still much needs to be done, and a bad result in the spring election could threaten what has already been accomplished.
“Women must participate broadly in the elections,” Minister Ghazanfar said on Monday in Kabul. “They should cautiously cast their votes as long term programs are needed for women to increase their role in economic and political spheres.” She said more needed to be done to make women around the country informed of their right to vote and the responsibility they had to do so. She said not enough Afghan women were aware of national issues. (Tolonews)