A Vote = Life

Last weekend, there was a very important election in Afghanistan.  However, the Taliban continued a campaign of intimidation to fight change.  Women candidates are especially vulnerable and they have put their lives at risk to run for office.  Afghan female candidates require armed security, having meetings inside, and private events in back alleys.

Of the 2500 candidates, 430 are women running for office.  The Afghanistan constitution reserves only 68 seats for women.  All female candidates have had their lives threaten and some of their campaign workers have been killed.

The Taliban has burned down schools for girls, ripped down women candidate posters, and increased intimidation tactics.  However, fraud and money have also played a role into determining the election.  Some candidates are paying constituents money in exchange for votes.

According to Shinkai Karokhail, a Kabul female member of the parliament state: “The country is sinking because of corruption.”  Where does that leave Afghan candidates?

Naheed Ahmedi Farid, female candidate, told ABC news reporter Nick Shiffer: “We have to be brave and we have to accept any risks that we are going to have.”  As a result, I will never take my rights for granted.

The Links:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/0917/In-Afghan-election-corruption-colors-aims-of-many-female-candidates

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68H1UN20100918

http://www.rferl.org/content/Afghans_Female_Candidates_Urge_Kabul_To_Ensure_Fair_Elections/2158381.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/19/afghanistan-elections-201_n_731061.html

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