Surobi women’s Shura to mobilize women to participate in upcoming elections

22 Apr 2018

Surobi women’s Shura to mobilize women to participate in upcoming elections

SUROBI – Members of the women’s Shura in the Surobi district of Kabul are committed to work alongside local authorities and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to support women’s participation in forthcoming elections.

Speaking at a UN-backed forum aimed at strengthening partnerships between communities and local authorities on local development and peacebuilding efforts, the group stressed their determination to assist women in registering to vote and participating in the upcoming parliamentary and district October poll.

“We are seeing lots of change in areas of women’s access to education and health services; we will now focus on elections,” Arezo, a member of the Shura told participants, who included representatives from the IEC, High Peace Council, religious leaders, and other community members. She said a committee dedicated to elections would work with local authorities and tribal elders to get women, particularly those in villages, to register as voters.

The Shura, the first such council for women in the district, was formed at the end of last year by a  group of women peace activists. Among other goals, it advocates for the greater participation and inclusion of women in peacebuilding efforts and development initiatives. “Women have a special role in traditional Afghan mediation systems,” said Mina, the Shura’s Secretary, during a live radio broadcast on Surobi radio earlier this year. The council attributes their relative success within a short period due to coordination with and support from local authorities and tribal elders.

Elsewhere, there are calls from different stakeholders to improve the management, participation, and credibility of the elections by among others improving the general security, conducting voter education and providing information to the public, especially to rural areas, on the electoral process.

The UN together with other international organizations reiterate their support to Afghanistan’s electoral process and believe that the success and credibility of elections lie not just with the electoral body, but a collective responsibility of all stakeholders including political parties, media, civil society, political leaders, and voters.

Supported by UNAMA’s central regional office, the forum was part of a country-wide outreach initiative aimed at creating platforms for local communities to engage in dialogue on critical issues.