Fawzia Koofi Running in 2014 Election to be Afghanistan’s First Female President

Whether you identify as a feminist or not, no one can deny the courage of Fawzia Koofi, as she is running for the presidency in Afghanistan during the 2014 elections. President Karzai is set to reach his limit of two five-year terms in office and if Koofi succeeds, she will be Afghanistan’s first female president. As of now, Koofi chairs parliament’s women and human rights committee.

There is no doubt that Fawzia Koofi embodies the feminist movement and sends a clear message to the world; Afghanistan is progressing, despite the Taliban’s best efforts of terrifying women into suppression and out of politics. Seeing as Afghanistan was once known as the worst place in the world to be a woman, Koofi has managed to incite dramatic change in Afghanistan’s political climate.

After years of conflict, this potential change in leadership has restored faith in many of Afghanistan’s people. Afghanistan’s first female president would serve as a representation of endless opportunity and positive forward motion for the country’s youth. Koofi has said herself that there is a strong desire for change among young people and women throughout Afghanistan. Koofi emphasizes this in her new book, “Letters to my Daughters”.

“Being a woman in politics in Afghanistan and a woman who stands for what she believes in, there is always risk”, Koofi stated. Fawzia Koofi is well aware of the danger she is putting herself in, as her own father was a politician who was killed by assassination. However, she is determined, stating that “…change is possible; it’s just a matter of some political and moral support from our international friends.”

This leads to the question of how this political shift would impact the United States, particularly in the realm of national security. Koofi herself has asked that the United States continue its support for Afghan women’s rights, even after the withdrawal of troops in 2014. Her concern is that gains made for women’s rights in Afghanistan will be eradicated if the new president enters into reconciliation talks with conservatives, including Taliban insurgents. There is great concern among women in Afghanistan, as this settlement could lead to the Taliban sharing in power. Koofi sees this threat even now, stating that “Talibanisation is a process, people within government are already promoting Taliban ideology and Taliban thinking”.

Rebekah Russo

Source:Al Arabiya News