Masuada Karokhi

Even during the worst times for women in Afghanistan, Masuada Karokhi remained an unwavering activist for women’s rights. Karokhi has had to work through the rule of the Mujahideen and the Taliban, periods women’s rights were eschewed by rulers.

Despite receiving frequent threats from the Mujahideen, she continued her work for women. After the Taliban took power and banned education for girls and women, she started free secret study classes for poor girls and women.

In the space created after the ousting of the Taliban, Karokhi was able to work freely as an educator, while she continued to raise awareness about the promotion and protection of women’s rights.

She was chosen to head the consultative board of the services forum (fourth district) of the Herat province. In 2002, on behalf of the services forum, she attended a consultative meeting held by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. In 2003, she represented the women of Herat at the loya jirga (grand assembly) to discuss the Constitution; she was also Herat’s delegate for civil society at the loya jirga on issues of peacemaking and peacebuilding. She ran for the 2005 and 2010 National Assembly election, and was elected as MP for Herat in her second try.

Not one to mince her words, she has spoken out against “the culture of fraud and electoral abuse”, the lack of implementation of the Constitution, and political violence against women.