Mazar-E-Sharif: Farida is from Maimana but has lived in Mazar for four years. She was married at 16, and has five children. She lost her husband during the Taliban period and one son died.

I’m not happy with the government of President Hamid Karzai. He has not helped me even though my husband died in the Taliban war.

I’m going to vote in the upcoming election to bring happiness and peace to our country. Twenty-one young soldiers were killed a few days ago, bringing more pain and sadness. We need peace.

I participated in the last election and I encouraged all my relatives to take part, too. There’s nothing preventing me from participating. I can’t read, but I know my favorite candidate by sight. There is a female director to show us how to vote.

My favorite candidate is Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. May he bring peace and calmness and women’s rights. Under the government of President Karzai, women have no rights and are killed by tyrants for no reason. It all depends on the president.

I’m optimistic that a new president can do a better job. President Karzai has not been able to control our homeland. Women’s rights are not recognized.

I do not think the new president should conduct peace talks with the Taliban. They killed many innocent people and made widows of many women. Taliban suicide attacks, like the one that killed 21 young men a few days ago, have populated our country with widows.

I lost my husband during the Taliban period. He was the breadwinner in our family. I have had a bad situation but I am hopeful that a new president will bring peace to Afghanistan.

By Farida, interviewed by Nilofar