In this episode, I speak with former mayor - and Afghanistan’s youngest ever female mayor - Zarifa Ghafari.
After the Taliban returned to power in August of 2021, the question on everyone’s mind was ‘What’s going to happen to all the women and girls now?’ Zarifa has answers.
From 2018 until August 2021, Zarifa was mayor of the Maidan Wardak province, located in the heart of Taliban territory. During her tenure, an extremist mob barred her from her office, her male staff walked out in protest, assassins tried to kill her six times, and they even took the life of her father in 2020. Despite all of this, Zarifa ended corruption in the province, promoted peace, and worked to lift women and girls up.
In this episode, we discuss what is the reality for women and girls in Afghanistan, her journey to becoming mayor and what keeps her hopeful for the future.
Some topics we cover include:
- The typical life of a woman in Afghan society - from birth through death
- Zarifa’s journey from decision to stand for mayor to taking office, and the extremist mob that tried to stop her
- How Afghan women have been the ones driving changes all along
- What makes Zarifa most proud of the women and girls in Afghanistan, and her optimism of the future
- Zarifa speaks directly to all of those still in Afghanistan, including the men
- She also speaks directly to the foreign powers behind the Afghan wars, and to everyone outside of the country, sharing how we can help
Transcription is available here
Changemakers: How women make change happen
This is the first episode of the new Changemakers series which explores how women make change happen from those at the top helping to drive it. Each episode, we look at where we are on this long march to equality, what lies ahead, and how important you are in the fight.
In this 14-episode series, we’ll hear from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, and Afghanistan's youngest ever female mayor Zarifa Ghafari, among others. Guest host Asha Dahya speaks with co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement Alicia Garza.
Episode sponsor: The Know
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