Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 17th, 2018

The Need for Participation of Women in Governance and Political Decision Making: AN Afghan Discourse

Women constitute more than half of the population of Afghanistan. Though they can play a critical role in different sectors including governance and political decision making and Afghanistan is committed to increase their participation in the different spheres, but it has not been able to realize its women agendas so far.
However, studies demonstrate that the level of involvement of women in governance at the governance and political decision making level is not in tandem to the policy requirement of 30 percent affirmative action.
As a result, a discourse of this magnitude demands first and foremost, an empirical foundations of how women in different parts of Afghanistan can galvanize themselves into a formidable group towards the articulation of a common cause of action, which of course, would give a searchlight in fine-tuning a workable blue-prints to ensuring women earn and hold their inalienable rights including positions as the case may warrant. Based on the research findings, due to the strictness, rigidity, cultural complexities and ascending competitive nature of governance and politics in the country, the women bloc have not been actively involved. And when ‘they are admitted’, the support accorded them is inadequate, epitomized with their small attendance at board meetings, political rallies, voting and political offices.
Women participation in Afghan politics at the grassroots’ level is an issue of great concern both for the international community and women’s rights organizations because women have been relegated to the background politically for a long time, which of course made them loose their rightful place in governance and political decision making processes. Though women account for more than 50% of the population but they are underdeveloped, they are under-represented in politics.
Factors are identified in extant literature as essential determinants of women participation include social and political relationships in a given society. According to social scholars male domination, political parties and culture of formal political structures, wrong socialization of women are the main causes of women low participation at the governance and decision making in the society. Therefore, It is necessary to make attempts to bring to fore the inept scenarios associated with women at the   governance and political decision making which have plagued their level of participation; and argue how these have continuously deepened the rate of women marginalization in politics and governable space at the grassroots. 
Research show that more women are involved in governance and political decision making at both central and local levels of government, particularly at the various houses of parliament.  As a result, What happens at the legislative and executive arena is that men are the major occupant of political offices. Based on research findings, it can be established that women involvement in governance and political decision making is just gaining ground, despite the popular declaration of ’30 percent affirmative action’ in Afghanistan, characterized by narrow-mindedness, poor attitude, low participation, and high deprivation tendencies. Marginalization of women in governance and political decision making is nothing but an elongation of male dominance in virtually all political affairs. As such, historical fact of this nature is strongly associated with the attitudinal views which had often impede the chances of women to having more political representatives at the various government levels in Afghanistan.
Women participation in the governance and political decision making are crucial for having a diverse and dynamic society. Therefore, as the Wolesi Jirga election is due next week, it is the mandate of all Afghans to vote for gender equality and support eligible women to be elected to voice the concerns of the Afghan women At the National Assembly of Afghanistan.