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Afghan Women Registering To Vote Rising

Ratio Of Afghan Women Registering To Vote Shows Consistent Gradual Rise - UN

The number of women registering to vote for the upcoming elections in Afghanistan, though still far behind that of men, is showing a consistent gradual increase, the United Nations mission reported today.

As of yesterday, 28 per cent of the nearly 1.4 million Afghans who have registered in the eight regional centres so far open are women, compared with only16 per cent at the start of registration in December, and 22 per cent in January, in a country where women's rights were severely restricted under the previous Taliban regime.

In a bid to bring out the female vote, some 600,000 extra posters and 300,000 leaflets are being distributed in Dari and Pashto, the principal Afghan languages, telling women their vote is important.

In another development, some 42 tons of cannabis seeds, 22 tons of poppy seeds, 4.3 kilos of heroin and 23 kilos of opium were seized today at the entrances to Kabul by the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan set up by the Afghan authorities with support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Germany, the United Kingdom and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Manoel de Almeida e Silva, told a news briefing in Kabul that the first unit, a 12-member specialist team, had been patrolling the four main entrances into Kabul for some two months in an effort to halt the flow of illegal narcotics.

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