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Mother, daughter defy violence to run in Afghan elections
Miami Herald: A mother and daughter--Hawa Nuristani and Rana Nuristani are both running for Parliament in Afghanistan, despite threats and violence directed at them by those who believe that the women are not behaving like proper Muslim women.
"When Hawa Alam Nuristani ran for a seat in the Afghan parliament five years ago, gunmen ambushed her on a campaign visit to remote mountain villages and she survived a five-hour rescue on donkeys and her supporters' shoulders with blood oozing from a leg wound.
Last year, she escaped with minor injuries from a car bomb that exploded outside NATO's Kabul headquarters seconds after she had dropped off her eldest daughter, Rana, who worked for the U.S.-led force's radio service. Rana was among the 91 people who were wounded; seven died.
Yet not only is Hawa Nuristani seeking re-election from Nuristan province in parliamentary elections Saturday, but Rana Nuristani also has followed her mother into the cutthroat arena of Afghan politics, running for one of 33 seats in Kabul province. If they prevail, the pair will make Afghan history as the first mother and daughter to enter the lower house of parliament together.
Many Afghans, however, fear that a repeat of the massive official vote-rigging and insurgent attacks that stained last year's presidential poll will mar Saturday's voting. Campaigning officially ended at midnight Thursday.
'God gave voting rights to females as well as males. If men can do something, why can't women? We have the same knowledge. We have the same ability,' she recalled telling one threatening caller. Neither woman has retained bodyguards, in the belief that doing so would raise their profiles."