From Refugee to Politician: Afghanistan’s First Female Provincial Council Chair Fights for Rights
Bamyan, August 2015 — Tayeba
Now, that hope has come true. Following democratic elections supported by UNDP, Khawary has become Afghanistan’s first female Chair of a Provincial Council.
Provincial Councils are the voice of the people. They promote democratic and accountable governance, monitor and oversee public services, such as health and education, and resolve disputes. Khawary’s experience as a refugee now drives her to use her position on the council to support others who are experiencing hardship.
“When I was working with civil society and human rights groups, we were advocating for the rights of the most poor and vulnerable people and especially for the rights of women,”
UNDP supports Khawary and Afghanistan’s 34 Provincial Councils to gain the skills and resources they need to improve people’s
On one official trip to an isolated village bounded by winding mountain passes and precipitous gullies, Khawary met with village elders who appealed for her help to fix a dilapidated school, improve maternal health, and address a growing problem of opium addiction.
After lengthy discussions with the community,
In other areas, Khawary has successfully supported women in cases ranging from inheritance disputes to access to schools and hospitals. In this way, she makes sure that her Council fulfills its mandate of bringing political solutions to those who need them the most.