IEC urges ulema to help lure women into vote

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday urged religious scholars, women’s and the youth representatives to play a proactive role in creating awareness about the importance of the June 14 runoff election.
IEC deputy Abdul Rahman Hotaki said ulema, the youth and women had widely participated in the April 5 elections and set an example of a massive turnout.
Speaking at a conference in Kabul, Hotaki said they urged people from all walks of life and sections of the society to play their part in creating awareness among the masses regarding the election.
“Once again, the IEC calls on ulema, tribal elders, the youth and prominent women to help us hold the election in a transparent manner,” said Ziaul Haq Amarkhel, the IEC secretary.
He said people with their constructive role could prevent electoral fraud and rigging by creating awareness.     
The seminar was attended by hundreds of people, including women and youth representatives. The participants called women’s role and participation in the election as crucial. 
They said cultural restrictions in Afghanistan’s patriarchal society hampered efforts at convincing women into participating in polls in addition to other social and political problems.
Amarkhel said about 36 percent women had participated in the April elections and their turnout could be further increased in the runoff through awareness-creating programmes.
Deputy women’s affairs minister Mojhgan Mustafavi said religious scholar could resolve problems being faced by women and could convince them into effectively taking part in the election.
mrh/ma

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