- Jun 4, 2010
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
The war in Afghanistan will be won by the women of Afghanistan.
On September 28, candidates for the Afghan parliament launched their campaigns ahead of the October 20 elections. Of the 2,565 people running, a historic 417 are women. According to data by The World Bank, the number of seats in parliament held by women rose from 4 percent in 1990 to 28 percent in 2017.
The United Nations says that women’s participation in the Afghan electoral process is essential to creating a stronger democracy. The Independent Election Committee (IEC) of Afghanistan has said that they are working to increase the number of women voters, including an initiative to hire a woman to staff each polling place.
This review attempts to synthesise the available literature addressing women’s election participation in Afghanistan, spanning a period of 6 years. Press coverage around the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan emphasised the low turnout of women voters, the perceived lack of security at voting stations, and election fraud. However, things are clearly changing in Afghanistan, with recent data indicating that women, who comprise 55% of the population and are considered part of the ‘intelligentsia’ within Parliament increased their Provincial Council participation in the 2009 election by 20 percent.
Lesson learning from prior elections has been described as a major building block to subsequent success in following elections. This includes the influence of Government and NGO-sponsored programmes which conducted public information campaigns to encourage female voter registration; correctly identified physical safety and security as a major concern; created women-only voting stations staffed by female election workers and offered the highly publicised option of voter registration cards without the requirement of being photographed. Lessons relating female candidacy include – observing and reforming legal frameworks, reform of quota system, well planned security arrangment, openness in political parties and financial support.
Please synthesise materials and reports relating to women’s political participation in Afghanistan during elections to cover materials not consulted (because not available) in the previous GSDRC report.