Last Wednesday, Afghan officials announced the final results for the parliamentary election held on September 18. Women won 69 of the 249 open seats or 28 percent in the lower house. Women won more than the 25 percent of lower house seats set aside for them by the constitution. A record number of women ran for Parliament in this election, with 400 women of 2,500 total candidates competing for seats in the lower house, Wolesi Jirga.
Women candidates in particular faced threats, violence, and intimidation from insurgents during this parliamentary election, which was the fourth election since the Taliban's fall. The Independent Election Commission deemed nearly one quarter of the ballots invalid and received nearly 5,000 complaints about election irregularities.
Nevertheless, Fazel Ahmad Manawi, Chairman of the Independent Election Commission, clarified, "With all the shortcomings, it was a major success for us, the Afghan government, people of Afghanistan and our international friends."
Media Resources: Independent Election Commission Press Statement 11/25/10; NPR 11/25/10; Human Rights Watch 9/9/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/20/10
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .