Cut in seats reserved for women resented
On June 15, a joint commission of both houses of parliament approved the election law that reduced women’s reserved seats from 25 to 20 percent.
On behalf of MPs, civil society, poll panel, Ministry of Women Affairs and media, the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) also expressed its worries over women’s negligible participation in the voter registration process.
Democracy in Afghanistan was facing challenges, especially in providing ample opportunities to secure women’s rights, a statement from FEFA said. Lack of access to their political rights had kept away from the decision-making processes, especially in elections.
Women’s Political Rights Advocacy Group floated recommendations for women’s effective access to political rights and enhance their role in electoral processes. The group’s recommendations on the voter registration process include:
Non- discrimination in authorising security services for female candidates;
Providing female candidates with special protection measures during the campaign period;
Ensuring security for female civic educators at central, provincial and district levels;
Avoiding interference of powerbrokers and warlords at women’s sites;
Training staff of IEC, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Interior and other organisations working for women’s rights on this policy;
Striving to ensure security before and during elections without interference from local police, especially at female sites
The group suggested special measures to help increase women’s participation in the voter registration drive and avoidance of proxy voting.
It also called for encouraging observers to employ female poll monitors and handling of complaints about the voter registration process by observers and monitors.
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