Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Million Women Campaign

During early May 09, when a number of women leaders gathered to design programs to encourage women for voting, i suggested what if we start a campaign of a bulk of women so that they can be motivated, encouraged and supported to take part in elections. Many thought its very ambitious as women dont come along in bulks. Later on , in a bigger coordination meeting on 17 June, i proposed the 5 Million Women Campaign as an outcome of coordinating election efforts by international community and civil society. A donor supported and we started the preparatory work at women's network.
The idea of 5 Million Women Campaign is to mobilize women towards an objective rather than an individual candidate that might easily influence voters. After so much of hard work to establish a working group, preparations and consultations, the launch was done on 4th of August 2009. The loya jirga tent that is a historical platform for change and struggles in Afghanistan was witness of around 1500 women from Kabul and 32 provinces ( Helmand and Zabul couldnt make it) and they approved a declaration which called for strategic integration of women into the next government plans and that will be only when they will vote for any candidate.

I spoke at this launch forum and encouraged women to ignore any other affiliations that will influence their decision but only vote for themselves, for any candidate that is able to respect women's vote and have clear plans for improving their situations. These women should also be the observers and monitors of the upcoming governments so that their demands are fullfiled properly. We are not asking for any sympathy or doing good for women, its doing good for Afghanistan. An Afghanistan that was torn into pieces, and where its women have had no role in its destruction but they want to play an important role in its reconstruction and teach the ones that destroyed it, that this land is half ours too.

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