Women constitute a major part of the Afghan population, and according to the Afghan constitution, women, like men, have the right to vote in the election process to participate in determining their political destiny. Under the constitution, women, like men, can participate as voter or as candidate. The Independent Election Commission has set up separate polling stations with female staff to facilitate women's participation in elections.
The IEC has the opportunity to provide women with additional facilities such as non-compulsory participation in elections and abuses of their suffrage, consolidation of their security checks by female staff as they enter each IEC office and polling station.
Women's Candidacy, of Wolesi Jirga and District Council Election
The Independent Election Commission (IEC), which is responsible for holding every election in Afghanistan, is set to hold Elections on 20th of October 2018 for the Wolesi Jirga and district council’s seats. Since the country's electoral system provides clear manifestation of a fairness and impartiality, it has established procedures and formulas to determine the minimum number of female candidates in each province, based on the population of each province, whereby the numbers of female candidates can at least double the current number of female candidates in provinces.
If there are not enough women in the candidate list to secure a seat or seats reserved for women in a particular constituency, the Commission adopts measures to ensure that seats reserved for women are not vacant. The Ministry of Women's Affairs and its provincial departments, in consultation with other women's and human rights and civil society organizations in the respective provinces, are also working to encourage women with the right to stand as candidates. Also, if there are insufficient female candidates to run for the district council election nominees, district-level Ministry of Women's Affairs departments will consult with the active civil society organizations in the field of women's affairs and Agree on nominated women to arrange and submit to the commission the final list of women from the same district who registered as a voter. If there is a sufficient number of eligible women’s Candidacy in a constituency of the Wolesi Jirga or District Council when preparing the preliminary voter lists. The following measures are considered:
- Female applicant who are eligible but who do not supplement their documents and information, will be given time to complete it;
- If no female applicant is eligible, time will be given for female candidates. The Commission calls on the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Commission on Human Rights, civil society institutions, and in particular civil society organizations to support the women who are eligible for candidacy.
The circumstances for how to co-ordinate with other institutions and to encourage women to be nominated are organized in separate procedures.