the net of people deeply affected by political violence
Reaction to the 2009 presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan
Monday 7 September 2009
We, the organizing committee of the Afghanistan’s first ever nationwide campaign to mobilize women to vote for the right candidate that will address women’s rights congratulate the people and the friends of Afghanistan on the 2009 presidential and provincial council elections. Yet again, Afghan women proved that they are ready to make their today and future bright and prosperous. Understanding the growing threats on voting, the women of Afghanistan came out and voted for their president and that is an important achievement for all of us. However, at the same time there are concerns and issues that we want to address in this statement which should be resolved and tackled by the Afghanistan’s Election Commission and Complain Commission and lessons should be learned for future references, as we are approaching towards the parliamentary elections in a year time.
We pray for the souls of the women who were killed during the voting day, in the rocket attacks in Kandahar. We solute the courage of the women that voted and whose fingers were cut off as it had the voting day ink. These are the sacrifices for democracy in a war zone.
The campaign team has been receiving its observer’s reports from all provinces in Afghanistan on the process of election and voting day. We call on the Afghanistan Complaint Commission to seriously address the complaints that were filed to the commission on the cases of fraud to ensure the people and women of Afghanistan, that their efforts are very important in the democratic process of Afghanistan.
Our reports indicate three major problems that hindered women from asserting their voting rights and we seek the attention of the Afghanistan Election Commission, the Complaint Commission and also the international community to make sure we address these issues in the upcoming elections:
1. We have reports from various provinces where men voted instead of women. There are instances where men used women cards and voted , saying that she is standing outside the voting site because of men she can not enter to the site so that man is voting on her behalf.
2. The lack of female election workers were very crucial hindrance that prevented women from voting. Our reports indicate that there were voting sites where women were standing just outside its door and were sent back home because there were no female workers.
3. The security arrangements weren’t sufficient in most of the voting sites. There were no or few women police officers to search women which caused a lot of fear and women didn’t go for voting as the security of the centers were not satisfactory to them. Afghan women’s network believes that people of our country are now facing a big examination in their history and participating of women in election process is exercising the promotion of democracy in Afghanistan.
Leaders team of 5 Million Women Campaign
Afghan Women’s Network
3/9/2009 – 1388/6/12
Dear Afifa and All 5 Million Women Campaigners,
The courage and commitment of the brave women who voted in the recent presidential election deserves our sincere admiration and gratitude. They inspire all of us in the struggle for human rights everywhere and give us evidence that the determination to have fair elections and a better future within Afghanistan is indeed alive. The women who voted or attempted to vote are heros on the global stage. From those of us who have never been asked to be so brave and from those of us who know personally the courage it takes to have done what you have done, we send you a thousand thanks yous. You have given us all reason to hope.
In peace and hope,
International Network for Peace, Co-chair
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows