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Women seek due share in cabinet

KABUL: The Women’s Political Participation Committee (WPPC), a civil rights group, on Wednesday strongly criticized the government for not giving due share to women in the cabinet.

The group said that both President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah should honor their promises made during electioneering about giving more seats to women in the cabinet.

In a press conference the chairperson of the rights group Humaira Saqib urged the two leaders sitting in the corridors of power to fulfill their pledges as women have played crucial role in making the presidential election successful with high turnout.

She said the president vowed in his campaigns to allot four seats in the cabinet to women if elected, but the promise has not been fulfilled. However, the number seats in were decreased due to political deals.

“The president introduced three women to the Wolesi Jirga for vote of confidence. Ai Sultan Khairi was nominated for Ministry of Information and Culture but was rejected due to holding dual nationality. However, the government introduced a male minister for the same position instead of a woman,” she said.

She urged the Wolesi Jirga to act according to the constitution and put pressure on the government to introduce three more women nominees.

Head of the Cultural and Religious Committee of the Wolesi Jirga, Kamal Nasir Osoli, criticized the government for nominated people who are not meeting the required criteria.

He said the minister-designate for Women Affairs, Najiba Ayubi, was not meeting the educational requirement because her credentials were not verified by the ministry.

However, Najiba Ayubi rejected the reports and told Afghanistan Times that when she was introduced to the Wolesi Jirga that time she was defending her thesis to get degree. “I am meeting the criteria set by the constitution. My documents have been verified and the Office of Administrative Affairs and Secretariat of the Council of Minister will introduce me to the parliament again,” she said.

Ayubi categorically said that she is ready to clear doubts of the lawmakers if there are any regarding her qualification.

Mari Nabara, a member of WPPC, said the government did not respect “gender equality” while forming the cabinet.

She said that female ministerial nominees are often rejected by the MPs due to personal interests and deals.

The group said that more women participation in provincial and central governments would give good impression of the country to international community. (By Akhtar M. Nikzad)

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