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Afghan woman leader makes it to Nobel frontrunner list

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Afghanistan’s first ladies Deputy Speaker in Parliament and member of the workforce of negotiators participating the Taliban in talks in Doha, Fawzia Koofi has been named one of many “favourites” amongst nominees for this yr’s Nobel Peace Prize, due to be introduced on October 9. Ms. Koofi, who has survived at the very least two assassination makes an attempt, together with one simply two months in the past earlier than talks started, mentioned the nomination itself was a “recognition” for the peace course of, and would “empower” the function of Afghan ladies at Doha specifically.

“I think this is a recognition of all of the efforts that Afghan women have undergone in order to be included in the [reconciliation] process, to be heard,” Ms. Koofi mentioned, talking to The Hindu from Doha, the place she is going to take part within the subsequent spherical of talks starting Monday. And I feel that the [Nobel nomination] offers me personally, way more energy, together with my different three sisters (different ladies negotiators within the workforce) who’re on this strategy of negotiation as a result of we do have to attempt tougher,” she added.

Women’s rights votary

Ms. Koofi, one among Afghanistan’s most distinguished politicians, was first elected to Parliament in 2005 when she was additionally elected the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Her bid to stand for President was thwarted after new age guidelines disqualified her, however she has been a powerful votary for girls’s rights, piloting a Bill on the eradication of violence in opposition to ladies, and has campaigned for the inclusion of girls within the reconciliation course of. Ms. Koofi, whose father and brother had been killed through the Taliban regime (1996-2001), additionally misplaced her husband who was repeatedly jailed by the Taliban, and died of an sickness contracted there. She has been focused by militants numerous occasions, together with in 2010, when she was shot at, and once more on August 16 this yr, simply weeks earlier than the Doha talks started, when gunmen shot at her and her daughter, and a bullet injured her proper arm. She attended the talks together with her hand in a sling, however.

“I do not want to be considered as just a woman, I want to be considered as representative of my country and as a politician, who have equal rights to sit across the table and discuss the future of her country. and therefore, if [the Taliban] want to really reconcile and if they want to pursue their political agendas, not through bullets, but through ballots, then they have to respect diversity and accept that we are part of the new Afghanistan.”

The announcement of the winner might be made in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday. According to the committee’s guidelines, the names of nominees aren’t disclosed for 50 years, and the frontrunner list is just not “official”. However, final week, the Norwegian Peace Council, an umbrella NGO of 20 Norwegian Peace organisations in Oslo launched its list of 5 frontrunners for the Nobel Peace Prize, selecting Ms. Koofi as the highest favorite, out of a complete variety of 318 candidates. The list of favourites included media freedom teams Reporters Without Borders & Committee to Protect Journalists, New Zealand PM Jacinda Arden.

“The fact that we have come up to hear in the peace process, and had our voice heard is very important, and whether we win or not, this recognition itself is a big success for women and for all of Afghanistan,” she mentioned.

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