Fawzia Koofi, Afghanistan’s first woman Deputy Speaker, has been nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize by the Nobel committee. The Prize is due to be announced on October 9. She is also a member of the team of delegates engaging the Taliban in talks in Doha, which was attended by representatives of many world powers.
As one of the few Afghan women involved in the negotiations with the Taliban, she is also one of Afghanistan’s most prominent politicians. She has said that her nomination was a “recognition” for the peace process and would play a huge role in empowering the part of Afghan women, especially in talks with the Sunni group.
She has been campaigning for the inclusion of women in the mainstream political process and has played a key part in the passage of the Bill related to the eradication of violence against women. During the Taliban’s stay in power (1996-2001), her father and brother were killed and her husband as well was incarcerated and later died of an illness.
No wonder, she has survived two assassination attempts, including one earlier this year before talks with the Taliban began, when she and her daughter were shot at. She had to attend the talks with a sling in her hand.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee, tasked with conferring the Nobel Prize, does not share the names of the nominees for 50 years. However, the committee last week did share the names of frontrunners for the Peace Prize. Out of a total of 318 candidates, the committee has picked Ms. Koofi as the top favourite. Other contenders include media groups like Reporters Without Borders & Committee to Protect Journalists and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
She said on her nomination: “The fact that we have come up to hear in the peace process, and had our voice heard is very important, and whether we win or not, this recognition itself is a big success for women and for all of Afghanistan.”