This paper summarizes the main achievements and challenges for Afghan women’s participation in politics and their access to justice. It also presents the most important reflections amongst key stakeholders about possible ways forward, with the aim of facilitating further discussions in these areas. The paper is a background brief for the Symposium 'Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan' in Oslo 23 November 2014, and addresses the key questions:


• How can female political participation and representation best
be enhanced, in the next parliamentary elections and beyond?

• What are the most important strategic issues related to gender
equity, assuming that popular resonance and effective political
alliances (including with male constituencies) are requirements
for success?

• Are cases of prosecution of violence against women best undertaken
through specialized entitites or through reform
of the entire justice system?

• What is the political space for reform in family legislation,
and which reforms (marriage, divorce, custody or inheritance)
would be most important for the status of Afghan