‘They’re not able to govern without 50% of the population.’ Former mayor speaks out for women in Afghanistan

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Joe Myers, Writer, Formative Content


  • Zarifa Ghafari, one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, has spoken out on behalf of the country’s women.
  • She’s called for dialogue and offered her services to negotiate for Afghan women.
  • Ghafari fled to Germany as the Taliban advanced.

Zarifa Ghafari was one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors but has fled the country as a result of the Taliban’s advances.

Now in Germany, she’s spoken out on behalf of those left behind, particularly the “unspoken Afghan women around the country”.

Ghafari left Afghanistan a few days ago, where she had been mayor in Maidan Shahr, west of Kabul. She was speaking ahead of a round table discussion in the German city of Düsseldorf, Reuters reported.

Image: World Economic Forum

Ghafari emphasized the plight of women in Afghanistan

“I am really happy that I can speak out on behalf on those unspoken Afghan women around the country, who are sad nowadays and who are afraid for their life, their today and their future and all their gains of 20 years.”

She explained the vital role of women in the country’s development

“If [the Taliban] really want to govern Afghanistan, they are not able to govern without 50% of the population. Women were the biggest part of developments in Afghanistan, and whatever we had 20 years back, the most was built by women of this country.” https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/4LM4RfWMZAOa9p453aY39a

And called for dialogue for, and on behalf of, Afghan women

“I am not sure they can build a country the same as it was 20 years ago without the help of women and without their cooperation. I call on their leaders to please sit and talk. I am taking the responsibility, I am ready to talk to them wherever around the world they are ready and start negotiating on behalf of all Afghan women.

“All around Germany I love to sit with anyone who is able to speak to me, who is really eager to know about Afghanistan and the realities on the ground. It’s important to have women and I would love to have women’s leaders who listen to me and help women in solidarity with Afghan women.”

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