Zarifa Ghafari is an Afghan activist, politician and entrepreneur. In November 2019, she became the mayor of Maidan Shahr, the capital city of the Wardak Province, Afghanistan. She is one of the only female mayors in Afghan history and the youngest – appointed at age 26.
Zarifa studied at the University of Punjab and started a very popular radio station aimed at women in the Wardak region. Known for her efforts to advance women’s rights in Afghanistan, Zarifa experienced an untenable career in politics. After being appointed in July 2018 as the youngest Mayor, Zarifa became a role model to women in Afghanistan. In 2021, she became the Director of a Department of the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan.
She received several international awards and the BBC listed her as one of the 100 inspirational and influential women from around the world in 2019. After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s Government in mid-August 2021, Zarifa fled with her husband, mother, and five sisters. She now resides in Germany.