Friday, December 30, 2005

The Forgotten War - Afghanistan's New Day: A Promising Step for Afghan Women

Four years after the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan resistance overthrew the Taliban, Afghanistan is still stumbling on the path to peace and stability.

However, there are glimmers of hope everywhere.

The country is nowhere near as violent as it was before, although in the past few months there has been an increase in insurgent attacks. It has a new constitution that enables the establishment of civil institutions like an independent judiciary and human rights commission, and foreign investment is trickling in. The brightest developments have been the inauguration of the new Afghan Parliament on Dec. 19 after more than a 30-year absence from the political scene and the political involvement of Afghan women in the rebuilding of their country.[snip]

Afghan women are finding their voices in many sectors of society, including politics. They have started to become actively involved in the political arena of their country, demanding increased representation in government and legislatures. Out of the 5,800 registered candidates who participated in the historic parliamentary elections on Sept. 18, 565 were women.

The new constitution of Afghanistan, instituted in January 2004, mandates that at least a quarter of the elected posts be reserved for women—putting the country ahead of Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. in terms of female representation in government. This means that women are guaranteed 68 of the 249 parliamentary seats, and 26 of the 102 seats reserved for the senate, or upper house.

Read the rest: - Views - Afghanistan's New Day: A Promising Step for Afghan Women

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