Saturday, May 16, 2009

Madam President

From Google / AFP:
In a stuffy Kabul wedding hall about 400 men and a dozen enthusiastic women listen to Afghan presidential candidate Frozan Fana outline her manifesto as the first woman to run the violent, tribal nation.

Peace and security, national unity, media freedom, protecting the country's sovereignty -- her electoral promises are likely little different from those of the 42 men who also want to lead Afghanistan.

What is unusual is that Fana is a woman running for the highest office in a deeply patriarchal nation where her sisterhood barely drive, almost never divorce, few read, girls are forced to marry and abuse is rife.

But she has a rival in the stakes to become Afghanistan's first woman head of state -- lawmaker Shahla Ata, who believes now is the time to give women the chance to run the troubled country.

And from the Guardian:
On 12 June Iranians will go to the polls to elect a president, and this year there is a possibility that one of the prominent contenders will be a woman, Rafat Bayat.

Although Bayat's candidacy is still not confirmed, the new constitutional interpretation issued by the Guardian Council is a welcome development and should be celebrated. A female president would certainly be a significant advancement, but nonetheless a presidency under Rafat Bayat might well mark a continuation if not an increase in the restriction of Iranian women's rights.

1 comment:

Pam Walter said...

This will be a very interesting situation to watch.