Women's participation in upcoming elections in Afghanistan essential: UN envoy

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The UNAMA-facilitated 'Afghanistan's 2014 Presidential Elections – Debate and Discussion' series. Jaffar Rahim/UNAMA

Women's participation in the upcoming elections in Afghanistan is essential to ensure that the process is inclusive and credible.

That's what the Secretary-General's Deputy Representative in the country, Nicholas Haysom said in the capital Kabul after meeting with representatives of civil society on Wednesday.

Afghanistan is scheduled to hold Presidential and Provincial elections on 5 April.

Mr. Haysom said the participation of women in the elections is not only important for the country but for the women of Afghanistan.

"We think the ballot is the best weapon that women have to place their concerns on the table and to have them addressed. But I want to emphasize that when we look at women's participation in the electoral process we are not only talking about women as voters, we are talking about women as candidates, as members of the electoral machinery, as elders in their communities and as workers at the voting stations themselves." (27")

Mr. Haysom said it was encouraging that 35 per cent of newly-registered voters in Afghanistan are women.

He also noted that more than 300 women are standing as candidates for the Provincial Councils and three women are contesting the post of Vice President.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration: 1'17''

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