Candidates Begin Campaigning for Afghanistan's Presidential Elections
Despite threats from the Taliban to disrupt the upcoming elections in Afghanistan, campaigns for the first post-Taliban elections began today. A Taliban spokesman, Abdul Hakimi, stated that Taliban fighters would target all presidential candidates, parliamentary candidates running in April’s parliamentary elections, and anyone who voted, reports Reuter’s. In addition, the Taliban has been making recent efforts to impede the elections process, specifically targeting women. Members of the Taliban have been present at the registration polls and have threatened women as they approach to register.
Eighteen candidates are running for President of Afghanistan, including President Hamid Karzai and only one female candidate, Massooda Jalal. Jalal made a speech to women at a bakery subsidized by the United Nations, asserting that “those people who betrayed you and destroyed your homes and who killed your loves ones…have no place in my government,” reports the Associated Press.
While recent reports show that there are over 10 million people registered to vote in Afghanistan's October presidential elections, it has become evident that the election registration process is Afghanistan is seriously flawed. The United Nations and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission released a report stating that the most basic conditions for a democratic vote in Afghanistan are in danger of not being met, reports BBC News. The report states that this lack of information is making voters vulnerable to intimidation and manipulation, and that there are individuals who are brandishing two or more voting cards.
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. . . .