Headline October 14, 2019/ '' AFGHAN -'FEMALE HERO MAYOR'- AFFIRM ''



ZARIFA GHAFARI - WHO AT 26 became one of Afghanistan's first female mayors, has said that she fully expects to be assassinated. Not that she is keeping a low profile.

After taking office in March in Maidan Shar, a town of 35,000 in Wardak Province in the center of the country, she had a banner hoisted with her name, a picture of her wearing a bright red head scarf and the slogan of her anti-littering campaign : ''Let's keep our city clean.''

Ms. Ghafari is well aware that she is on the front lines of the struggle for women rights in Afghanistan, at a time when recent American peace talks with the Taliban have Afghans thinking about what might happen if the ultra conservative insurgents take part in running the country again.

''My job is to make women believe in women's rights and women's power,'' she wrote on Twitter.

Ms. Ghafari is not the first woman to take over a traditionally male job in Afghanistan's patriarchal society. But she has one of the toughest imaginable positions.

Women have been appointed as governors of Daikundi and Bamiyan Provinces, which  are  culturally tolerant areas by Afghanistan's standards. For two years, Nili, a town in Daikundi had a female mayor. She eventually moved to the United States.

But Warkad is a particularly conservative province, where support for the Taliban is so widespread that many major highways are not safe for civilians.

Maidan Shar's only high school for girls had just 13 graduates last year. Before Ms. Ghafari became Mayor, the only woman in town to have held a government job other than teacher was the head of Wardak's women ministry, and she did not dare live in the city, instead residing in Kabul the country's capital. Ms. Ghafari also commutes from Kabul for safety reasons.

Ms. Ghafari was actually appointed in the summer of 2018 by Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani. But after disastrous first day as mayor, her term was delayed for months.

After she arrived for work that July day, her office was mobbed by angry men brandishing sticks and rocks. She had to be escorted out by Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security, which sent a squad of paramilitary officers to her rescue.

''That was the worst day of my life,'' she said. ''Don't come back,'' protesters jeered as she left. Among them, she said, were supporters and aides of Wardak's governor, Mohammed Arif Shah Jahan, whom she accused of orchestrating the protest because he opposed the appointment  of a woman. Attempts to reach Mr. Jahan for comment were unsuccessful.

Ms. Ghafari left town, but not quietly.  ''I was screaming so much I lost my voice,'' she said. She went straight to the presidential palace in Kabul and told the officials she would not give up easily.

''I told them I will claim my right to office if I have to set myself on fire in front of the palace,'' she said. ''It was not an idle threat.''

It took nine months, but Ms. Ghafari finally managed to return - after Governor Jahan resigned and after she had made a social media pest of herself with the hashtag IWillFightforRight.

But that not mean that her troubles were over. Far from it. That became quickly evident on a visit to Maidan Shar to see Ms. Ghafari in action.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Afghanistan, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Fatima Faizi and Rod Nordland.

With respectful dedication to all the Female Leaders of Afghanistan, and then the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for  Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter- !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Brave & Bright '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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