Afghan Legislature Will Include Minimum of 15 Seats for Women
Afghanistan’s new legislature will include at least 15 seats reserved for women, according to a proposed plan by newly-elected President Hamid Karzai. The legislature also would consist of two delegates from each of the country’s 32 provinces and other seats chosen from within the loya jirga – one for every 20 delegates. However, Karzai’s plan, which was proposed to appease the 1,551 loya jirga delegates who had reached an impasse over the issue of choosing a parliament, was met with disdain from many at the national assembly. In addition, the issue of choosing a cabinet, another key point of conflict, remains unresolved. In a sober address to the delegates Tuesday, Karzai proposed setting up numerous commissions to oversee various aspects of government and to negotiate rules for choosing a legislature after the assembly disbands today.
Meanwhile, fundamentalists at the loya jirga launched an attack on Dr. Sima Samar, Minister of Women’s Affairs, for a quote in a Canadian newspaper in which she allegedly said: “I don’t believe in Sharia [Islamic law.” Islamic hardliners called for punishment of Samar in a letter printed by Mujahed, a party-political newspaper. Observers at the assembly say the attack, coming just before cabinet appointments, could be a deliberate move to minimize her role in Afghanistan’s future government. Samar, who was elected deputy chairwoman of the loya jirga Wednesday, came under attack last week after she called for a “new Afghanistan, where our children do not play with guns for toys and are kept away from evil and corruption.” Islamic fundamentalists took that statement as a reference to themselves and mujahideen fighters and launched an angry protest.
Media Resources: BBC News 6/18/02; Washington Post 6/18/02; CNN.com 6/18/02
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. . . .