Violence against women in elections in Afghanistan: An IFES assessment

Case Study

June 7, 2019

Violence against women in elections in Afghanistan: An IFES assessment


On October 20, 2018, Afghanistan held its long-delayed national parliamentary (Wolesi Jirga) elections. Overall, the election demonstrated how combined factors of insecurity and political instability, widespread impunity for and high rates of violence against women, and negative perceptions about women’s rights have gender-specific effects on Afghan women’s full and equal electoral participation.

As Afghanistan prepares for a presidential election in September 2019, strategic efforts are urgently needed to better ensure that women’s rights to participate as electoral and political decision-makers are safeguarded and bolstered. Recognizing this need, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) worked with the Afghan Women’s Network to conduct a field-based violence against women in elections (VAWE) assessment that uncovers the specific ways that Afghan women experienced violence throughout the 2018 parliamentary elections, as well as mitigation strategies needed to reduce and prevent electoral violence against women.

Carried out with support from Global Affairs Canada, the assessment includes data from in-person focus groups, individual interviews and informational surveys that, taken together, reached electoral stakeholders across all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

Click here to see the assessmemt.

Resource type: 
Sarah Bibler and Naila Rafique
Publication year: 
April 2019
Focus areas: