Afghan Women Delegates Call for More Women in Cabinet
Several women delegates to the loya jirga addressed both male and female delegates Monday to demand women’s rights in Afghanistan. “We’ve already told the government that women’s rights should not be a slogan,” said Sfoora Ilkahani, an ethnic Hazara from Bamiyan province. “If rights are not given, we will definitely come on the floor and fight.”
Women delegates also expressed grave concerns that warlords may dominate the government’s new cabinet. Malalai Ashakzai of Kandahar called for the appointment of women to the ministries of defense, education, intelligence and health as well as the committee to draft a new constitution and the transitional legislature. Currently, in the interim government, women hold only the women’s affairs and health cabinet posts.
This past weekend, women from across Afghanistan came together for a non-governmental forum to draft a resolution of shared priorities – including a plea for more security. “The first thing I want is stability and security,” Nasia Ghafuri said at the forum. “And we should have enough income to survive.”
When the loya jirga began today in Afghanistan, women were at the forefront with close to 200 female delegates. This is the largest representation of women in a traditional council, with close to 160 women appointed and approximately 40 elected to delegate seats. These 200 women are part of a national assembly of 1,551 delegates that are meeting this week in Kabul to draft the nation’s democratic future.
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .