Election Process

The female poll contestants argue they are unable to print posters and pamphlets carrying their photographs because of financial problems. Even if they manage to print the same, one way or another, they are faced with security concerns.

Bakht Bibi Rahimi, who is in the run for a Ghazni Provincial Council seat, is among the complainants "I have been warned by unidentified callers against printing my photographs and electioneering," Bakht Bibi alleges. In a chat with Pajhwok Afghan News, she claims several other women candidates are facing the same problem. They could neither print their posters/photographs nor travel to remote areas as part of electioneering, she grumbles.

Ninety-three candidates are in the run for the 19 seats on the Ghazni Provincial Council. Nine of them are women. Another female aspirant Fauzia Kakar is up against similar odds. The existing security situation does not allow her to go to far-flung areas in connection with election campaign. Women in the city fear many of them would not be able to take part in the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections due to security worries.

A resident of Ghazni City and a student at the Nangarhar University believes women in much of the province will not be able to come out of homes on election day. Pashtana says female dwellers of a few peaceful districts may exercise their franchise. She thinks women's participation in the elections at a limited scale will affect the results. Director of Women Affairs Department Shukria Wali is also concerned at the hardships being encountered by females.

She is apprehensive insecurity could prevent women casting their votes. At the same time, she aggress, cash constraints are hampering women candidates' election campaigns. Earlier, several male candidates in Ghazni also voiced concern at the security situation and said they were unable to run election campaigns in far-flung areas. Under the rules, five of the 19 members on the provincial council should be women. Afghan voters will elect their president and members of the 34 provincial councils on August 20.

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