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We strongly condemn the recent attack on Zarifa Ghafari, the mayor of Maidan Shar, Wardak province.  We are relieved that she and her fellow passengers survived this cowardly attack unharmed.

On March 4, Mayor Ghafari was recognized as a 2020 recipient of the International Women of Courage award by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and First Lady Melania Trump, alongside 11 other recipients from around the world. She was selected for this award due to her bravery and leadership, qualities she continues to demonstrate daily as she faces down those who seek to keep women from fully participating in Afghan life.

We urge Afghan authorities to fully investigate and prosecute those who opened fire on her vehicle. The future of Afghanistan lies with those who seek peace and political solutions, not those who use violence and intimidation to threaten Afghan women.


U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future