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Afghan women's rights activist Zarifa Ghafari is honored with the Luther Prize


Zarifa Ghafari served as the first female mayor of an Afghan province from 2018 to 2021. After the Taliban seized power, she fled to Germany. Now she is being honored for her political commitment.

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Zarifa Ghafari after fleeing to Germany

Photo: Martin Meissner / AP

The women's rights activist Zarifa Ghafari receives the Luther Prize "The Intrepid Word" for her work as the first female mayor of an Afghan province.

The award, which is worth 10,000 euros, is presented every two years by the Association of 16 German Lutheran Cities – where the reformer Martin Luther worked.

The decision for Ghafari as the winner was unanimous, said the mayor of the Thuringian city of Schmalkalden, Thomas Kaminski, and Lord Mayor Adolf Kessel (CDU) from Worms after a jury meeting in Schmalkalden.

The award ceremony is also to take place there on April 15, 2023.

Made strong for the women of Afghanistan

All five nominees deserved the award, said Kaminski.

However, the decisive factor for the decision was that the 30-year-old Ghafari enjoys very special sympathy and solidarity.

From 2018 to 2021 she served as the first female mayor in the Afghan province of Maidan Wardak.

There she campaigned primarily for the protection and rights of Afghan women;

for example by opening a market only for women and thus creating jobs for women.

After the Taliban seized power in the summer of 2021, Ghafari was able to flee to Germany with her family.

»From here, the intellectual, enlightened young woman continues to raise her voice for human rights in Afghanistan and in the world.«

In the spirit of the civil courage of Luther (1483 to 1546), who defied pope and emperor with his theses against the sale of indulgences, Preis honors courageous people for words and deeds.

Last year, civil rights activists Veronika Zepkalo, Svetlana Tichanovskaya and Maria Kolesnikova from Belarus received the Luther Prize on behalf of the democracy movement in their country.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-11-24

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