Female security force shortage may keep Afghan women from voting

The Independent Election Commission reports it will require 10,000 more female police to staff polls in April

Topics: Afghanistan, women, Women's Rights, Women Voters, elections, Democracy, , ,

Female security force shortage may keep Afghan women from voting An Afghan police officer in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. (Credit: Musadeq Sadeq)

A severe shortage of female members of the Afghan police force may prevent women from voting in next year’s presidential elections, according to Afghanistan’s elections monitor.

“This is a really important issue for the IEC. We must have the same opportunities for male and females,” IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told NBC News.

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) says that it will require 12,000 female security officers to carry out body searches necessary for voters to enter gender-segregated polling stations, but there are currently just 2,000 female members of the country’s security forces.

In an effort to make up for the shortage of female police, the Ministry of Interior may train female teachers to carry out searches at polling stations.



The lack of female polling staff isn’t the only potential barrier to Afghan women’s participation in elections. As NBC notes, very few women have registered to vote in some of Afghanistan’s most conservative provinces.

“We have been visiting homes and trying to get women together to explain why voting is important, that they have a voice and despite government corruption their vote does matter,” said Neda Khaihani, a member of the provincial council in Baghlan.

“We’ve been working for months and only have eight women registered at the moment.”

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...