Friday, October 24, 2008
Today I joyfully voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States. Tonight I heard President Clinton speak at an Obama rally in North Little Rock. Pretty awesome day.
I voted "early" as I will be in Nepal on election day. So far this week, in Pulaski County alone, over 28,000 have stood in line for up to three hours to cast their vote.
As I stood in line to vote, I reflected - out loud to those around me - on the historic constituent assembly elections in Nepal this year. Some people walked for hours and others arrived at the polls before dawn to ensure that their voice was heard. Others braved incidents of intimidation and threats of violence. High voter turnout - approximately 60% of the 17.6 million voters - reflected the desire of the Nepali people to take part in a democratic process and their hope the elections would bring peace, stability and prosperity to Nepal.
Importantly, over 6 million of women voted in Nepal with hopes, for the first time in their lifetime, for better representation and a more promising future for their children. For the first time, women in Nepal have a chance for a voice in how their traditionally patriarchal country is run.