The Afghan Wolesi Jirga is in the midst of voting for the cabinet ministers.

Three women had been incluuded: Palwasha Hassan was announced as nominee for Minister of Women’s Affairs (MoWA,  Suraya Dalil, as   Minister  of  Public Health and Amina Afzalirk  for Social Affairs/Martyred and Disabled. The first two were rejected. Through our friends at the AWAL list, we were able to have information about the questions the MPs asked Palwasha Hassan. The fears they reflect are highly relevant of the appalling situation women are experiencing today in Afghanistan…

Hijab is something necessary for women in Islam. What is your view and what strategy will MoWA have re:hijab/
2.  What is your level of knowledge about Islamic teaching.
3.  MoWA has always had a symbolic is just a name, it doesn’t have real function. How can you change it into an effective ministry.
4.  MP female – First woman head of Women Dept. during Rabbani asked.. We read in your bio that you worked a lot for shelters and as we know, shelters are not a good place for girls. They are very bad for girls in Afghan society. Her family will not accept her again to come back. Can you respond to this.
Palwasha answered: shelters were done for girls on the streets being abused. Establish of this kind of place to save women is not against Islam.  I believe Allah will compensate me for this.
5.  There is a relation between poverty and violence. How will you reduce poverty. And  what is your strategy for women’s empowerment. How will you find money for women’s empowerment? (A woman)
6.  Mullah asked.  Women’s rights and gender issues are going in Afghanistan two ways = Western style and Islamic style. Our laws in Afghanistan are pro-women. How will you make sure that there is balance between the two…not too much freedom of women but still have rights under law.
7.  What is your program/strategy for creating women’s defense movement? Women’s Movement.  To work for promotion of women’s rights?
8.  What is your policy to bring women into budgets. What is your policy to provide for women Islamic Education in rural areas.
9. Do you bring, for a good change – do you see the need to change head of DoWAs to other provinces.
10. Most seminars/workshops happen in Cities. How can you make them happen in provinces.
11.  What do you know about philosophy of gender in society and economy?And do you agree that gender in the west is based on unlimited choice for women.
12.  Hijab and Mahram – Female?  Do you have a red line/limitation for women that they cannot cross. For example, go without Hijab, without Mahram…cannot travel.
13. Do you allow men to work in MoWa
14.  Hijab question again.
15.  Commercial announcement on TV – Females are misused. How do you stop that?

I turned this into an article published by the Canadian feminist site Sisyphe: I entitled it ‘Les Talibans déjà au pouvoir à Kaboul’, alas….

One Response to “Hair-raising questions to a potential Minister for Women’s Affairs”

  1. on 04 Mai 2014 at 3:06 Holy Quran

    Holy Quran

    Carol Mann » Hair-raising questions to a potential Minister for Women’s Affairs