A dis­tant dream

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

The ar­ti­cle ‘Strug­gling Fe­male Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans’ dis­cussed an im­por­tant is­sue in the con­text of fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Afghanistan. Another some­what sim­i­lar is­sue that made head­lines re­cently was the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of a fe­male pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in Afghanistan. Khadija Ghaz­nawi, the only fe­male can­di­date who had signed up to run for the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions to be held in April 2014, was dis­qual­i­fied by the coun­try’s In­de­pen­dent Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. Ghaz­nawi owns a lo­gis­tics com­pany in Afghanistan and is also a peace ac­tivist. She pre­sented a very clear-cut agenda to end the on­go­ing in­sur­gency in Afghanistan: open fac­to­ries and pro­vide jobs to peo­ple. “The Tal­iban are sick of fight­ing. If we pro­vide work and ed­u­ca­tion to their kids, they will stop,” she re­port­edly said in an in­ter­view.

The IEC has given no rea­son or ex­pla­na­tion for her dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Al­though Ghaz­nawi is de­ter­mined to fight her case, her dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion seems strange con­sid­er­ing that war lords and con­victed crim­i­nals have al­legedly been con­test­ing the elec­tions. In the pres­ence of this kind of dis­crim­i­na­tion, the Afghan women can only dream of achiev­ing their due rights.

Saleha Badrud­din

Kolkata, In­dia

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