Jalal said hundreds of women are running for seats in Afghanistan's parliament and local councils on 18 September but that there could have been thousands more.
She said many women had no money of their own, and their husbands generally control the family money.
Women were excluded from public roles under the Taliban rule that ended with the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.
Women now have equal rights under a new constitution, with a quota of 25 percent of seats in parliament reserved for women.
"Afghanistan: Threats, Intimidation Reported Against Female Candidates"
"Afghanistan: Interview With UN Special Rapporteur On Violence Against Women"