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Women under-represented in unity govt: Watchdog

Women under-represented in unity govt: Watchdog

Feb 05, 2015 - 18:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (TEFA) on Thursday criticised the government for giving womeninfo-icon fewer representation in its structure.

TEFA chief Naeem Ayubzada told a gathering “women’s participation in future election” in Kabul that Afghan women had widely participated in the previous elections but they were regrettably paid less attention in the new government’s formation.

More than seven million people, including 38 percent of them women, exercised their right to enfranchise in the April 5 elections.

“Women should have a significant representation in the government given their active role in political and democratic arena,” Aubzada said.

He said the gender should be given leadership roles and a say in making decisions, believing the national unity government could not succeed without women’s participation.

The unity government has promised giving women four seats on the new cabinet. The government last month introduced 24 ministers-designate, including three females, but none of the women were able to win a vote of confidence from the parliament.

Ayubzada continued women’s participation at leadership level could help make more transparent the electoral process, suggesting that females should be appointed in the proposed commission on electoral reforms.

He expressed concern over leaders’ inability to make decisions easily, saying they would be unable to bring reforms.

“We ask the government to strengthen institutions that could help ease making decisions when leaders face problems and differences over a particular issue,” he said.

 Without reforms, he warned, it would be impossible to hold transparent and free elections in the country.

He said the long-awaited district council elections would be held simultaneously with the next parliamentary polls.

However, he said the district council elections needed legal, technical, security and logistic preparations because people representatives in remote areas could not be elected in a transparent manner without these preparations.

Rahima Zarifi, planning and policy director at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, on the occasion said the new government should honour its promises and seriously implement electoral reforms.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, I promise to work hard towards strengthening women’s participation in the election process with support from civil societyinfo-icon and the relevant organs,” she said.


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