The first female to be nominated for Afghanistan's Supreme Court by President Ashraf Ghani, Anisa Rasouli, was rejected by the Parliament on Wednesday, in yet another sign of the political crisis engulfing the government.
Safeguarding women's rights was one of President Ghani's campaign promises and the nomination was considered a milestone in a country where the Taliban once banned women from almost all public arenas.
Ghani has struggled to get his agenda into action and even after nine months in office, he has been unable to complete the cabinet.
The decision follows last week's vote against the President's acting defence minister.
"We ask the president to nominate another individual for this position," deputy speaker Haji Zahir Qadir said of Wednesday's decision.
Fourteen years after the Taliban were toppled by a US-led military intervention, Afghanistan remains deeply conservative and many fear women's rights will be rolled back after the withdrawal of most foreign troops last year.
"I hope the President nominates another woman for this position," lawmaker Shukria Barakzai, an outspoken women's rights advocate, said after the vote.
Nominees to the position of central bank governor and to the Supreme Court were approved during the same session.