Habiba Sarabi’s campaign comes as Afghans are questioning a decade of efforts to advance women’s rights – writes Mujib Mashal @mujmash on February 8, 2014 Extract follows: “Sarabi is one of a handful of female politicians who have risen to national prominence over the past decade. About 28 percent of the parliament is female (a quota introduced in 2004 stipulates 25 percent), and several women have served as ministers in the Cabinet. But those numbers are, in a sense, deceiving. Female political participation at the higher levels of government remains little more than a slogan, activists and analysts say, as women rarely find a place at the table in decision-making about the country’s economy, judiciary and national security. Female politicians, meanwhile, are often branded as simply women’s rights activists.
Sarabi has, to some degree, been an exception. As governor, she was the only woman in an executive position with provincial armed forces under her command. “Isn’t this too revolutionary?” asked President Hamid Karzai in 2005, when he appointed Sarabi as governor, after the loss of her Cabinet position as minister of women’s affairs. (Karzai’s wife, who practiced medicine before becoming first lady, has remained behind closed doors over the past decade, despite the country’s dire need for female role models.) This autumn, as candidates and coalitions jostled to agree on tickets before registering for the presidential election, the high-level discussions were exclusively male. Even Sarabi remained in remote Bamiyan and was contacted at the last minute.”
Full story HERE.