Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In
Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
"We should look toward the future with hope," said Ghani during his first speech as president. "Social justice is the foundation of long-standing peace. Any peace that is preserved with injustice does not stay."
Given the new president's stated commitment to women, the mood among some Afghans is hopeful that the new administration will support the gains made by Afghan women since 2001 and encourage more progress for women's advancement. "During his campaign and even after he was elected, [President Ghani] has said and done all the right things," Manizha Naderi, activist and director of Women for Afghan Women, told The Guardian. "He has taken the women's vote seriously."
"This will be a first for Afghanistan that the first lady is seen in public and this can have a very positive effect on women," said Shukria Barakzai, a women's rights advocate and member of Afghan parliament. "This is a male dominated society and a strong woman like her in the palace will make a huge difference." She continued, "As an Afghan woman, I will be thrilled to see this great woman standing with our new president and advocate for women."
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position.
Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .