Fawzia Koofi is the first person to announce an intention to run for the presidency in Afghanistan. Koofi, a women’s rights advocate, was elected to parliament in 2005 and was reelected in 2010. Earlier this year, she received acclaim for her memoir, “The Favoured Daughter,” in which she details how she was left outside to die immediately following her birth because she was a girl and how she became the first woman in her family to receive an education.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai must step down in 2014 due to term limits. Some western officials and women members of parliament have expressed concern that Karzai is trying to broker a power-sharing compromise with the Taliban to bring an end to the war. Koofi told Reuters, “He has lost the trust of this part of society – women, the civil movements, the activists, the Afghan youth and the intellectuals. That is why he is trying to now rely on conservative forces.”

Koofi is outspoken against the Taliban and has decried Taliban rule. In an article for the Daily Beast, Koofi wrote, “can anyone really believe the Taliban will share power and be willing to sit in a democratic Parliament alongside a woman? I do not believe it.”

Reuters 4/14/12; The Daily Beast 1/6/12

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