Two steps back

Afghanistan’s parliament blocks first female Supreme Court nominee

Though Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani recently nominated Anisa Rassouli as the first female for Supreme Court, on Wednesday the country’s parliament denied the votes to approve the nomination. The nomination was just nine votes short of passing, with 88 yes votes — 97 were needed for the nomination to be approved. The vote came after several clerics and conservatives vocally criticized the nomination, claiming that only men were fit to hold the position. According to The Guardian, MP Qazi Nazeer Hanafi said Rassouli would be unable to fulfill a judge’s daily duty of touching the Qur’an, as “menstruating women were considered unclean in Islam and were not allowed to touch the Qur’an.” Rassouli’s response was, “There is nothing under Sharia that prevents me from becoming a Supreme Court judge.” Having served as a judge for 24 years, Rassouli appears to be well qualified for the position; she is currently head of Kabul’s juvenile court, as well as chair of the Afghan Female Judges Association. Rassouli reportedly told The Guardian, “We have a lot of women who come to the Supreme Court asking about their rights. Women are more comfortable talking to a female judge, so there’s need for me to be there.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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