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Afghan Women Rally For More Seats On Provincial Councils

KABUL -- Dozens of Afghan women protested against the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IECA) on October 7 for allegedly allocating less seats for women on the country's provincial councils, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported.

Activists at the rally, which was organized by civil society organizations in Kabul, demanded a greater role for women on Afghanistan's provincial councils.

Thuraya Parlika, the head of the Afghan Women's Union, told Radio Free Afghanistan that the decreasing number of seats held by women on the provincial councils is unfair.

She called upon the IECA to address the issue and to respond to what she said are the demands of women and civil society.

The IECA says it is not responsible for the low number of women that have been elected to the provincial councils, which it says occurred because more men ran for the seats on the councils during the August 20 elections.

IECA spokesman Nor Mohammad Nor told Radio Free Afghanistan that, for example, the law designates eight seats for women on Kabul's city council but that they could gain more seats if more women would have ran in the elections and gained the necessary votes.