|Female candidates contesting the poll have received threats in many parts of the country [AFP]|
Shinkai Karokhail, a member of parliament in Afghanistan, has hopes that candidates running in upcoming presidential elections will bring women's issues to the fore.
She says she is concerned that since the US-led effort to oust the Taliban in 2001, women in many parts of the country have continued to face a lack of liberties and access to education.
Karokhail, who campaigned against a controversial Shia Family Law passed by the government in April, believes the major contenders for the presidential race have largely avoided women's issues in their election campaigns.
"Women's issues are as sensitive as the Durand line (the contested border between Afghanistan and Pakistan). Why should they [candidates] do something that might lose them the votes of conservatives and extremists?"
Women's political rights
Rights activists in Afghanistan are concerned that local media have focused on the high profile electoral campaigns of the candidates, particularly the top contenders, but sidelined women's issues.
Bringing together activists from around the country, the jirga was designed to put women's issues back on the agenda and to make sure that their voices are not ignored.
"We want women to learn how to obtain their political rights in a society dominated by men," Karokhail told Al Jazeera.
"Men will realise we have a voice. We need more women ministers, more diplomats, and for those who are there to come together and speak in one voice."
Source: Al Jazeera (English)