News from Afghanistan worth noting:
Female candidates have triumphed in Afghanistan's parliamentary elections, with one bidding to become the new parliament's speaker.If I may just intercede there [please feel free to - Ed.]... you see how it is: 'They elect women; we blow up people'. This, incidentally, is one of the things behind the alienation and national disconnect discussed in the previous post. What is? The blowing up of people? Er... not necessarily.
After a delay in counting of more than a month, official results show women secured seats ahead of male candidates in a quarter of the 34 provinces, while in one a woman was outright winner.
Before September's parliamentary vote, the first for 30 years, there had been widespread predictions that, due to the conservatism of Afghan society, women would only gain seats through a quota system which automatically reserved 25 per cent of seats for them under the country's new constitution. But women won seats in their own right and will take up 68 of the 249 in the lower house when it convenes later this month.
Remnants of the Taliban responded to the results by detonating two suicide bombs in Kabul, killing a German peacekeeper and three Afghans.
[In the new parliament] will be Fauzia Gailani, a 33-year-old fitness instructor from the western province of Herat who caused a major upset by topping the poll, relegating a follower of the local warlord, Ismael Khan, to second place.Here's a loosely related item:
Her success was attributed to prominent family connections, an alluring election poster and an energetic campaign.
Other female candidates benefited from disillusionment with the apparent impunity of alleged criminals and their supporters participating in the political process.
Shukria Barakzai, a women's magazine editor who took the 24th of Kabul's 33 seats, said: "People saw election posters for people who destroyed this city plastered on the walls of Kabul's broken buildings."
Mrs Barakzai said she hoped to stand for the role of speaker in the new parliament: "I want to create a cultural revolution in Afghanistan.
"If a woman becomes the chairperson of the parliament that will show the good aspect of change in Afghanistan."
Malalai Joya, an outspoken critic of the warlords who has faced a number of attempts on her life, won a resounding and symbolic second place overall in the south-western province of Farah. Several women candidates have indicated that they will attempt to form a women's party in the new chamber, the Wolesi Jirga.
Women make up 19.8% of the [House of] Commons, while Rwanda leads the world with 48.8%. Sweden has 45.3%, Mozambique 34.8% and Iraq 31.5%.Not Iraq, surely. I'm having trouble digesting this information in view of the fact that no good can possibly come of US or British foreign policy.