Bridey Heing
July 01, 2015 3:11 pm

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani just made a huge step forward for women’s rights. As of Tuesday, he has officially nominated the first ever woman for a seat on Afghanistan’s Supreme Court. Anisa Rasouli, head of the Afghan Women Judges Association and a leading female jurist, will be the first woman to hold a seat on the court if her nomination is approved by parliament, according to AFP.

That’s a pretty big if, though. The Afghan President may be looking to move on women’s rights and increase inclusion, but the Afghan parliament has a great many conservative members who have already pushed back against greater rights for women. Rasouli has to get past them before she can take her place on the Supreme Court, making her appointment far from a given.

But that doesn’t make this moment any less significant. Along with Rasouli’s nomination, Ghani also appointed four women as cabinet ministers and two women as governors during the same speech. It comes on the heels of a meeting about how to implement a U.N. Security Council Resolution calling for greater inclusion of women in government. Ghani has voiced his support for women’s rights, and called for them to have the right to a divorce and an education.

“Misogyny still prevails in our new generation,” he said in his speech Tuesday, according to his official website, “and often times the most educated happen to be the most misogynist, which needs a thorough discussion and fundamental change.”

This stuff might seem like a given — yes, women should have a right to education and misogyny is a bad thing. But violence against women, child brides, and restrictions due to long standing conservative ideology still keep many women from full freedom. There’s a way to go — barriers to education and health care in rural areas are just some of the issues that highlight the complexity of the situation — but Ghani is showing a willingness to make women’s rights a priority. That’s the first step on the long road to change, and it’s one that needs to be taken.

(Image via Twitter)

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