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Women’s participation in elections down by 33pc: FEFA

Women’s participation in elections down by 33pc: FEFA

Jan 30, 2019 - 14:55

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistaninfo-icon (FEFA) says the October Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon ballot was challenging for womeninfo-icon as illegal demands and lack of campaign opportunities hurt their confidence in the credibility of the vote.

Maryam Arween Barakzai, in charge of women and youth affairs at FEFA, said the polls were conducted on the basis of weak management and the electoral process had been faced with security threats.

She said findings of the electoral watchdog indicated that more facilities had been made available to male candidates than women.

Insecurity, threats, economic problems, the culture of male dominance, propaganda and illegal demands of some officials were the main challenges women faced during the elections, she explained.

This approach raised concerns among women and reduced their trust in the national process, Arween believed, who accused mosqueinfo-icon leaders of declaring women’s participation in the elections un-Islamic.

“During the previous (post-Talibaninfo-icon) elections in Afghanistan, women’s participation as voters stood at 41 percent, 40 percent, and then 39 percent. Now this level has dropped to 33 percent,” Barakzai said.

The FEFA official urged the commission to be impartial in the process and scrutinise complaints against corrupt employees and deal with charges of rigging and irregularities in a timely manner.

On the other hand, Afghanistan Human Rights Commission Chairperson Seema Samar described women’s inadequate rights to freedom, movement and creation of parties as the main problems facing half of Afghanistan’s population.

The human rights campaigner added developed and democratic countries always ensured equality between women and men in the decision-making process.

Samar stressed women’s participation in political, economic, cultural and social activities, saying the principle of equality was a foundation of civilian life.

“One indicator of progressive and democratic countries is equality between women and men and women's participation in the decision-making process,” she concluded.


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