Last updated: 5 october, 2010 - 13:28 GMT

Female Afghan MP living in fear

An elderly woman shows off her inked finger after she cast her vote in Afghanistan's elections in September 2010.

Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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In the recent elections in Afghanistan over 400 women stood as candidates.

This would have been unthinkable under the Taliban regime, when women were not allowed to attend school, work, or even leave the house unless accompanied by a close male relative.

Even now there can be considerable risks for female parliamentary candidates in Afghanistan.

Fawzia Gailani has been an MP in Herat in the west of the country for the last five years and is known as an outspoken defender of women's rights.

During the most recent campaign, ten of her campaign team were kidnapped by the Taliban and five of them were killed.

Fawzia herself has received many death threats.

When Matthew Bannister spoke to Fawzia through a translator from Herat, she told him about the events that led up to the kidnapping of her colleagues.

First broadcast on 4 October, 2010

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