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ICYMI: Governor Sarabi campaigns to become Afghanistan's first female Vice President

March 27, 2014 by Melissa Charbonneau

Habiba Sarabi, the first female to be appointed governor in Afghanistan, is on the campaign trail to become the country’s first female vice president.  The former governor of Bamiyan province, who pushed for education and women’s rights, is running mate to presidential contender and longtime Cabinet minister Zalmai Rassoul.

Mrs. Laura Bush met with Governor Sarabi and female police trainees during her June 2008 visit to the Police Training Academy in Bamiyan, when she urged Sarabi to remain resolute in her work for women’s rights and to encourage democracy in Afghanistan.

Sarabi’s campaign is fueling discussion about fears of a rollback in women’s rights after a decade of hard-won advances in the country.  As governor of Bamiyan, Sarabi racked up a record of pushing for education and women’s rights.  In 2013 she was recipient of The Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize,  for her "bold exercise of leadership to build up a functioning provincial government against great odds."

A self-proclaimed “modern woman,”  Sarabi has been called Afghanistan’s most prominent female candidate and has acknowledge the significance of having a presence on one of the leading presidential tickets.   Her candidacy highlights challenges women continue to face in Afghanistan as participants in the political process, as as she raises the importance of women’s participation in upcoming April presidential elections and calls on Afghan women to go to the polls if they want women to play key roles in decision making for their country.

Click here to read the full article about Governor Sarabi

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/candidates-vie-afghan-womens-vote

and see images of Mrs. Bush’s visit with the governor here http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/firstlady/photoessays/globaldiplomacy/afghanistan08/07.html.