Kabul has a new face these days as the presidential candidates post their pictures on every street corner. They entered the race to outrun their rivals and there is a hot market for workers willing to work to advertise for the candidates.
They may not even plan to vote for that candidate, but they can earn a few Afghanis. In such a weak economy, Afghan people just try to survive. A lot of the money being spent on installing candidates’ billboards, printing their pictures, and advertising them could be spent directly on helping poor people.
But the presidential candidates’ slogans are impressive and attractive. They talk about women’s rights and claim that women’s rights are a priority for them, just like in the last presidential election. Yet violence increases day by day.
Afghan women have not achieved equality and justice. The culture of violence is normal. An Afghan woman’s luck is knit with black yarn. This violent culture is like a nightmare—it’s always there and swallows her like a devil. Discrimination and violence have the final word in our country.
Some organizations have been created to defend the women’s rights. But women don’t have security at their jobs and they work in fear. When women who have been affected by violence go to the police, they suffer more because of the discriminatory behavior of the authorities.
Corruption is at a peak in Afghanistan.
But the presidential candidates need the votes from women. To get them, they make promises. Women should recognize the value of the timing of this election and use this opportunity to show off their abilities to society and the world. We should shout in the darkness and make the world believe us. The world must hear the Afghan woman’s voice. It is a voice that has been silent for years with a lock that was clamped on the Afghan woman’s mouth.
Our goal and dream is for a better tomorrow for all Afghan women. To achieve our goals, we will use our right to vote for our ideal candidate. We will choose our country’s destiny and build our country.
An election poster of presidential candidate Mohammad Daoud Sultanzai in Kabul, March 15, 2014.