October 11, 2004



From The Boston Globe: Protests lose force day after Afghan election.

"I think they [the other candidates] saw how many people were voting for Karzai, and they got scared, so they decided to say the election was not fair," said Seelay Srek, 22, an observer working at a women's polling station.

She said she had been elated to watch Afghan women vote for the first time, and went home relieved that there had been little violence -- only to grow angry at the emphasis on the ink mistake.

"The ink is not important compared to millions of people's votes," she said. [...]

Srek, the Afghan journalist who acted as a poll observer in Kabul, said she was most excited when she saw an old woman arrive enthusiastically at the polls despite a pronounced limp. "It made me happy," she said.

Another woman, she said, told her she planned to vote for Karzai against the wishes of her husband.

"When I go home, I'll tell him I voted for the guy he wanted," she confided.

Meanwhile, FoxNews reports: No Vote for Women in Saudi Elections.

Women may neither vote nor run in Saudi Arabia's first nationwide elections, the government announced Monday, dashing hopes of progressive Saudis and easing fears among conservatives that the kingdom is moving too fast on reforms.

Some women considered the move yet another indignity in a country where they need their husbands' permission to study, travel or work. But others said they wouldn't trust themselves to judge whether a candidate is more than just a handsome face.

The religious establishment had been lobbying against women's participation in the elections, diplomats said.

UPDATE -- October 12: Meanwhile, in Africa: Nigerian court condemns women to death by stoning.

Islamic courts in Nigeria sentenced two women to death by stoning for having sex out of wedlock, but two men whom they said they slept with were acquitted for lack of evidence, authorities said Tuesday.

Both sentences, which were passed within the last month in the northern state of Bauchi, have to be confirmed by the state governor before being carried out, and they are open to appeal.

Nobody has been lawfully stoned to death in Nigeria since 12 northern states introduced Islamic Sharia law in 2000, because all such sentences have been overturned on appeal. [...]

The adoption of Sharia law in northern Nigeria has polarized Africa's most populous nation, whose 130 million population is split roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians.

Posted by Forkum at October 11, 2004 08:43 PM