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
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .