Zarifa Ghafari

Economist, Human Rights Activist and Politician

Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan's youngest female mayor at the age of 24, is celebrated for her relentless dedication to defend women's rights in her country. Her remarkable contributions have earned her not only worldwide acclaim but also prestigious honours, including "International Women of Courage Award" in 2020 and the "International Women's Rights Award" in 2022.

"Famous for her advocacy for women's rights in Afghanistan."

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  • Women's Rights are Human Rights
  • Human Work
  • The Future of Europe
  • From Afghanistan to the World
  • Global Politics
  • Adversity & Resilience
  • Leadership
  • Human Rights & Philanthropy


She presents in English.

How she presents

Zarifa is an impactful and highly passionate speaker who uses her incredible story to transform the lives of audiences worldwide.

Books & Media

  • Zarifa: A Woman's Battle in a Man's World

In Detail

Zarifa's historic appointment as Mayor in July 2018 was met with a nine-month delay, marked by local protests and threats fuelled by her age and gender. Despite these challenges, she bravely assumed her mayoral duties, facing relentless threats from the Taliban and ISIL, she survived three assassination attempts. Her advocacy extended to condemning the Taliban for her father's tragic death in November 2020. Notably, she initiated an anti-litter campaign and made a poignant appeal to then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to safeguard women's rights during the uncertain period of Taliban-US negotiations. In the wake of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan's government in mid-August 2021, Zarifa, accompanied by her husband, mother and five sisters, fled the country. She was granted asylum by the German government. Her remarkable journey and resilience garnered international attention, leading to the release of a Netflix documentary about her life in 2022.


In her lectures, Zarifa shares her insights about the political situation in Afghanistan and explains why her mission to help women and people live free lives is so vital.



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