Preliminary results for Afghanistan's recent presidential election were released on Saturday, showing that former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister and World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are the top contenders.
I remember the morning I woke up to the sounds of gunfire and bombs. I remember the morning when I was trying to get ready for school and my father said I couldn’t go any more.
Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday.
The Afghan Independent Commission (IEC) estimates that at least one-third of Afghan voters on Saturday were women.
The elections represent a pivotal moment in the history of Afghanistan, which will conduct its first democratic transition of presidential power once the vote is complete.
"My family decided to move back to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. After we returned, I remained committed to working to improve Afghan women’s lives."
There was some concern last summer that there would not be enough women security officers to work at the polling stations set aside for women, but the government has now surpassed its recruitment goal.
" I owe my achievements both to Jaghori resistance to the Taliban and to the U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan, which protected my right to an education, and continues to help secure this right for all Afghan women and girls."
"Even with all of the progress in Afghanistan, I still have nightmares when I think about those dark days of the Taliban regime."
Dr. Nasrin, a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, operated an underground women's health clinic in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, providing urgently needed maternal health services, including emergency obstetric care.
Stressing that the Afghan people, especially women’s groups, are curious to know the candidate’s views on violence against women and other forms of discrimination against women, the debate moderator asked the candidates for their views on the importance of women’s role in society and in the economic development of Afghanistan.
"If the world could only see through our eyes," Koofi writes, "they might get a glimpse of the fact that Afghan women have come a long way over the last decade."
This is a victory for Afghan women who have been fighting for better enforcement of laws that make violence against women a crime – including rape, domestic assault, honor killings, child marriage, and baad, the practice of resolving disputes by giving away one’s daughters.
Women’s rights were one of the topics of discussion on February 4, 2014 when five of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates met for the first televised debate. Here's what they said.
Several candidates have expressed strong, positive attitudes towards protecting women's rights.
"Our tireless advocacy for the last few weeks paid off."
"We want justice and respect for women."
"It is a travesty this is happening. It will make it impossible to prosecute cases of violence against women."
Candidates for Afghanistan's upcoming April election kicked off their presidential campaigns on Sunday.
Colonel Jamila Bayaz, a 50-year-old mother of five, this week became the first women to be appointed police chief in Afghanistan.