Women’s participation in poll process stressed
KABUL (PAN): In an effort to ensure women’s active participation in the electoral process, gatherings involving religion scholars, people’s representatives and influential tribal elders will be held in all 34 provinces of the country over the next four months.
The first of such public meetings took place in Kabul by the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan (Wadan) -- an NGO involved in raising public awareness about election, peace and injurious effects of drugs.
Asia Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are the main sponsors of the initiative for women’s political activism.
“Voting and standing for elections is an established right of each individual. Just like men, women should also take part in the political process,” remarked Shamsul Haq Hashimzai, a Wadan official and civic educator.
Hashimzai viewed a transparent ballot as the only legitimate way of smooth political transition, hoping women would be encouraged to participate in polls through such gathering and with the help of scholars, influential tribal elders and public representatives.
Deputy Minister of Education Dr Shafiq Samim told participants Ministries of Education and Haj Afghanistan had a significant role in promoting the awareness programme.
He said the two ministries, with Wadan’s cooperation, were trying to motivate the masses through schools and mosques into taking greater part in elections. He also highlighted the importance of women’s role in this regard.
Dr. Samim urged relevant state organs to focus on improving security to enable women to participate in the electoral process in a befitting manner and play their due role in putting in place a viable future system.
Sadiqullah Fidaee, a civil society activist, was confident the gatherings featuring religious scholars would galvanise people, especially women, into taking part in the polls and paving the ground for the promotion of democracy and prosperity of the country.
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