History Made In Afghanistan With The Nomination Of The 1st Female Supreme Court Judge


Now this is democracy in action! Ever since the Taliban rule ended in Afghanistan and a democratic government was set up after the war with the help of US intervention, the country has been slowly moving toward becoming a developing nation which at its foundation should include basic human rights. While the world is under no illusion that Afghanistan still has a long way to go, there are signs that the general population are ready to rise up and help the country move toward a new era.

There is a distinct air of men standing up alongside women also in Afghanistan which is what is so exciting about this country. The most recent news showing that women are gaining equal positions of power like never before was seen was President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani nominated a woman to be the first female Supreme Court judge in the country.

Her name is Anisa Rasouli and she is the head of the Afghan Women Judges Association and a former juvenile court judge. She would serve a 10 year term in the Supreme Court alongside 8 other Justices if her nomination is approved by the Parliament.

Although the move has predictably angered some Islamic conservatives, President Ashraf Ghani isn’t budging on his move toward equality in the government and justice system. I’m proud to announce that for the very first time I have nominated a woman to the Supreme Court. Appointing a woman to the Supreme Court does not alter the judicial system. We do have full support of the Ulema (Islamic scholars) for it,” he told a group of diplomats and women’s rights activists.


Nominating Anisa is only one woman in the President’s plan to include more women in his cabinet across the board. He has already appointed two female governors for the provinces of Ghor and Daikundi, said he wants all ministries to appoint female deputy leaders, and also added four female ministers to his cabinet.

He is making a concerted effort toward empowering women and wants to put into action this commitment dubbed The National Action Plan, which came about after he met with a technical committee advising him on how Afghanistan should implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for greater representation of women in political and peace processes and greater attention to women’s issues in peace and security matters.

The President stressed that women’s views and ideas should be respected as independent individuals not just in their secondary roles as mothers, sisters or daughters. He also said that women’s perspectives should be an integral part of the decision making in the governing process.

At the meeting, he said he wants to see women have access to legal documentations such as birth and marriage certificates, have the right to an inheritance, to get a divorce and most importantly get educated. In his speech he also reiterated the importance of improving healthcare for women and make sure they play an integral part in the peace process.


The Afghan government will also be working with the Turkish government to open a university for women, he said during his speech. The National Action Plan would require each ministry to report its progress in improving female representation for at least the next eight years.

“Please take misogynist thinking out of your minds. Misogyny still prevails in our new generation and often times the most educated happen to be the most misogynist, which needs a thorough discussion and fundamental change,” he said addressing the younger generation of Afghans.

An AFP report states President Ashraf Ghani’s wife Rula has played an active public role since his election, especially in the area of women’s rights. The issue of women’s rights came to a head not too long ago when a young blogger by the name of Farkhunda Malikzada was murdered after being falsely accused of burning a Qur’an. Her death sparked a wave of protests around the country calling for a major increase in the protection of women, and justice for Farkhunda’s murderers. Her killers initially received death sentences, but a shocking court ruling overturned those sentences and gave the men between 10 and 2o years among them.

It is events like this that have enabled men and women to shout all the more louder about the need for a justice system away from gender bias and religious scrutiny.

“Lasting peace will be ensured when all Afghans accept the second chapter of the Constitution” said President Ashraf Ghani, meaning the full inclusion of women among those to whom the constitution’s chapter on citizens’ rights applies.


He admits there is still a long way to go until the social fabric that still clings to traditional ways of oppressing women is torn apart in favor of a new society that advocates equality at its core.

“Unfortunately, the younger generations still believe in using force against women, even some literate people indulge in violence against women,” he said, adding that religious leaders had a role to play in spreading awareness about women’s rights.

The more women are appointed to key leadership decisions in a developing nation like Afghanistan, the more diverse, equal and progressive a country will become. Having a leader like President Ashraf Ghani, a former academic and World Bank economist, who understands that democracy cannot be possible without the implementation of human rights and inclusion of women at every level, is vital.

Here’s to more women in Afghanistan being nominated to positions of power, who are making history and breaking barriers at the same time.

You can see the full video of the President’s remarks to the United Nations below:







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