Shahla Atta and Frozan Fana are two Afghan women dreaming of the impossible. They are in the running for the Afghan presidency, which will be determined this upcoming August 20th.
While there is not a high likelihood of the women, or any other contenders male or female, defeating the current regime of President Karzai, it is still a huge step in the right direction for Afghan women worldwide. While many of the women of Afghanistan are required to wear burkas in public, these two particular women have shunned the norm and publicized themselves with political propaganda including, but not limited to, uncovered face shots.
Both women came from a background of long-term family politics (on the male side, naturally) and have come to the wise conclusion that even if they aren’t voted to be the next Afghan president, it is still, clearly a worthwhile undertaking for the females of the Middle East.
While the current President, Hamid Karzai, has been in rule for almost nine years up to this point, is favored to win once again, for another term. Karzai, who was once a supporter of the Taliban in the early nineties, had reformed and became the interim President of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
According to recent polls, Karzai is favored to win this year’s election, but by a far smaller margin than the previous race had proven in 2004. During the previous race, Karzai was favored to win 55% of the vote, while this year’s election states that statistics are only giving him 31% of the votes. Regardless, 31% of the votes divided up over forty-plus candidates still puts Karzai, unfortunately, in the President’s seat for yet another term.
Congratulations to the ladies of Afghanistan who had the uterine fortitude (did you expect “testicular fortitude”, maybe?) to break the mold and run. Hopefully over the next few weeks more and more voters will succumb to the reality that a woman truly can change the direction of things to come.