Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Afghan Women Lose Political Power and Talks With Taliban Spells Trouble

Talks with the Taliban, and the surreptitious removal of the law requiring at least a quarter of the seats in the provincial councils be held by women, does not bode well for the female segment of the Afghan population.

A legal requirement that women make up at least a quarter of all provincial elected officials was quietly removed by conservative male parliamentarians, officials said, the latest in a series of decisions undermining advances in women's rights in Afghanistan.

The change, engineered in mid-May, was only discovered by women members of parliament a few days ago.

The action has sparked fears among women's rights activists that President Hamid Karzai's government is increasingly willing to trade away their hard fought gains to placate the Taliban as part of attempts to coax them to the peace table.

Activists said it could also reduce the number of women serving in parliament's upper house, as most women are elected there via their role as elected provincial officials.
According to Farkhunda  Naderi, a rights activist who also happens to be one of the few MPs in the current Afghan government, believes:

"This is a political strategy: to please (the Taliban) in peace talks they're willing to give up women's rights."

I hate to think we wasted so many years and so many lives for nothing, but once we are gone, I have no doubts that the Taliban will work there way back into power.

Such a shame.

No comments: