This just in from UK’s Department for International Development promising £18m to ensure women play a “full party” in next year’s Afghan elections, and that the polls represent Afghanistan as a whole… So it’s just a shame that the only female candidate has been barred from running for president (with bugger all outcry from rest of the world)….

New support from the UK will help to ensure that women have the chance to play a full part in Afghanistan’s elections next year, Justine Greening announced from Kabul today.

She set out how £18.5 million in new British funding will:

·      help to boost numbers of women voters and their involvement in the political process;

·      provide training to women provincial councillors once elected; and

·      support community-level information campaigns and outreach work to help reduce violence against women and girls.

 Presidential and provincial elections will take place in Afghanistan on 5 April next year. Credible, inclusive and transparent elections are critical to ensuring a peaceful transition of power in 2014 and to building the confidence and support of the Afghan people.

 Justine Greening said:

 “Despite recent progress on women’s rights in Afghanistan, many still face significant challenges, from physical violence and psychological abuse through to exclusion from the political process. We are helping to tackle the root causes of these issues to ensure that women’s voices are heard.

 “Preparations for the elections next year are gathering pace. If the election results are to represent Afghanistan as a whole that means women playing a fuller part, both as provincial candidates and as voters.

 “This new funding from the UK will ensure that whatever happens these elections will lay the groundwork for women’s participation for generations to come.”


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