Afghanistan Should Make Room for Its Female Leaders

   •    April 24, 2006

This article, co-authored by Swanee Hunt and Isobel Coleman, was originally published by The Christian Science Monitor.

Last month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced his nominations for his cabinet and the Supreme Court. This was the first time that his nominations would be scrutinized by Parliament; last Thursday, the Parliament approved 20 of the 25 candidates for his cabinet.

The approval hearings are a welcome start to a more democratic Afghanistan. Unfortunately, President Karzai did not nominate a single woman to the Supreme Court, dropped all three ministers who were women from the last cabinet, and nominated only one woman to the new cabinet, as minister of women’s affairs. On Thursday, she was rejected.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, “an aide to Mr. Karzai, who would speak only without being identified because he was not authorized to comment on the cabinet debate, argued that women had won their place in politics, with representation guaranteed in Parliament and provincial councils, and no longer needed special appointments to the cabinet.” These actions and attitudes suggest a disturbing trend.

Read the full article.

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