KHOST (Reuters) - Like many a village elder campaigning for a seat on a provincial council in rural Afghanistan, Okmina begins each day donning a black turban, strapping on a pistol and heading out to talk to neighbours. The difference is she is a woman, dressed as a man. Watching Okmina meet with villagers in traditional Afghan mens baggy trousers and long shirt, with a few strands of red henna-dyed hair poking out from the black turban coiled around her head, it is hard to tell she is not a man, until she speaks. I dress like a man, especially during this election period when security is not good, said Okmina, who, like many Afghans, uses only one name. For my campaigning, I have to go to remote parts in my area where it is not safe for me to go as a woman, she said laughing. Male villagers in Okminas remote province seem to relate to her just as they would to a man, discussing their problems with her while their children scurry about her feet. Okmina is not married and has no children of her own, but lives with her extended family in Tani district of Khost province, a particularly conservative area bordering Pakistans tribal region.