July 8, 2015 / 10:11 AM / 4 years ago

Afghan woman nominee to Supreme Court rejected amid fears of rollback of rights

KABUL (Reuters) - The first woman to be nominated to Afghanistan’s Supreme Court was rejected by parliament on Wednesday, in a further sign of the political crisis engulfing the government.

Safeguarding women’s rights was one of President Ashraf Ghani’s campaign promises and the nomination was considered a milestone in a country where the Taliban once banned women from almost all areas of public life.

Ghani has struggled to get his agenda into action and after nine months in office has been unable to complete the cabinet.

The decision follows last week’s vote against the president’s acting defense minister.

“We ask the president to nominate another individual for this position,” deputy speaker Haji Zahir Qadir said of Wednesday’s decision.

Fourteen years after the Taliban were topped by a U.S.-led military intervention, Afghanistan remains deeply conservative and many fear women’s rights will be rolled back after the withdrawal of most foreign troops last year.

“I hope the president nominates another woman for this position,” lawmaker Shukria Barakzai, an outspoken women’s rights advocate, said after the vote.

Nominees to the position of central bank governor and to the Supreme Court were approved during the same session.

Writing by Jessica Donati; Editing by Nick Macfie

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