"One of the demands is social and political participation by women. Women want to actively and effectively participate in all fields and deem it as their right to do so. Women also seek their civil rights, for example, the right to choose their spouse, the right to education and the right to property."
"Educated women demand justice and equality at all levels of society. They demand a justice-based approach to the basic laws in force in Afghanistan. Above all, the new generation of women demand gender justice and the eradication of discrimination at all levels of society."
Unless something really untoward happens, the recent election will be the precursor of a peaceful transfer of power in modern Afghan history, which has had its share of coups and assassinations.
"My two daughters are studying medicine and they wish to write poetry. My wish is that they achieve what they aspire for and will be able to treat the sick people in our country."
"Rather than trying to establish security, the men restrict women. The insecurity they feel might not even be real, but it creates some kind of psychological insecurity in women nonetheless."
"My greatest fear is that the international community may leave us. We saw what happened when the Russians left. Whenever the international community leaves us, women's rights, the freedom of the media, and human rights are endangered."
It was a very pleasant and peaceful surprise. After weeks of relentless attacks by the Taliban many feared that Saturday's Afghan election would be a very bloody one. But did the Taliban hold back so as not to delegitimize itself?
"There is a pervasive societal ethic, culture, and attitude that rejects the presence of women who work and are active in civil society."
Afghans' surprisingly enthusiastic participation in their presidential campaign and Saturday's election should jolt Afghans and foreigners alike out of their pessimism about the country's future.
"The women's movement needs to evolve beyond its current membership of elite women. It must extend to all pockets of society; we need to establish some kind of unity among women."
The West still has a chance in Afghanistan -- if it toils for an indigenous solution to the conflict and prevent Pakistan from spoiling everything.
"The civil and political freedoms we currently enjoy are without precedent in Afghanistan. These freedoms are the most precious gifts to the people of Afghanistan in the past 12 years and so far, we have managed to hold onto them."
"I visited a friend of mine a few days ago and noticed that she was quite tired and depressed. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that her family will not allow her to continue studying. These situations arise too frequently for women in Afghanistan."
"The high rates of illiteracy amongst women have devastating impacts for women's participation. A large proportion of Afghan women are illiterate because of the historical oppression they have endured. The traditional mentality is another barrier to their participation."
"There are a number of challenges, including a weak and dependent economy created because the promises of the international community have not been upheld, the lack of proper state planning to build infrastructure and the large-scale population exodus to other countries."
There is a potential catastrophe looming when foreign troops leave Afghanistan, as the central government could well sacrifice women and girls in future negotiations with the Taliban.