Female Afghan MPs Amend Law to Preserve Political Representation of Women

Mrs. Shinkai Karokhail MP
Shinkai Karokhail

A small women parliamentarian advocacy group was able to bring back the article according to which women shall make up at least a quarter of all provincial elected officials.

The legal requirement, that had previously set aside for women at least a quarter of seats in some 400 district and 34 provincial councils, was quietly removed by the lower house, Wolesi Jirga, in late May. Female members only discovered the change after the vote in plenary session: “(They) removed it without informing us. We trusted that the law we signed off on was the same as previous drafts," MP Fawzia Koofi said, referring to the members who made the changes. Before being passed into law, approval from the upper house and President Karzai are still needed.

PN Member Shinkai Karokhail MP told the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention that female legislators from the upper house and the women parliamentarian advocacy group have succeeded in re-introducing the article into the draft law. They are now trying to pass the new draft law from a joint committee of both houses.


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Photo by boellstiftung.

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