Karzai's minister for women condemns bikini-clad Miss Afghanistan

KABUL (AFP) - President Hamid Karzai's minister for women's affairs condemned Miss Afghanistan, as Vida Samadzai became the country's first woman in the post-Taliban era to appear in a bikini during a beauty contest in Manila.

"Appearing naked before a camera or television is not women's freedom but in my opinion is to entertain men," minister Habiba Surabi told AFP on Sunday.

"We condemn Vida Samadzai, she is not representing Afghanistan's women, and this is not women's freedom."

Surabi said according to Afghan culture women should not demonstrate their worth using their "beauty or bodies" but by their skills and knowledge.

"In the name of women's freedom, what this Afghan girl has done is not freedom but is lascivious," the minister said.

The 25-year-old Afghan contestant, who lives in the United States, is the first Afghan woman in 30 years to participate in the Miss World international beauty contest being held in the Philippines capital this week.

The dark-haired, black-eyed Samadzai, apparently from a Pashtun tribe, was born and raised in Afghanistan but left for the United States in 1996 to escape the extremist Taliban regime which forced women to cover themselves from head to toe.

Under the harsh regime women were not allowed to work outside their homes or go out without a close relative beside them. After the fall of the militia in 2001, an increasing number of women left the burqa, or veil, at home and some took jobs.

The only other Miss Afghanistan was Zohra Daoud, who jointed the Miss Universe contest in 1972.

25/10/2003

Bron : newsflash.org

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