Afganistan Heads

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Female Heads of State of Afghanistan/Afganistan/Afganistan
(Female suffrage 1964) Constitutional Monarchy 1964-73, Republic from 1973

1210's-1221  Reigning Lala Khatun of Bamiyan
Today it is a town in North-central Afghanistan's Hazarijat province. Bamiyan is an ancient caravan center on the route across the Hindu Kush between India and central Asia. It was sacked by Ghenghis Khan in 1221 and never regained its former prominence.

1405-57 Politically Influential Gawhar Shad of Herat
Also known as Gowhar Shād, Gauhar Shad or Goharshad and exercised extraordinary influence at court during the reign of her husband, Shah Rukh of the Timurid Dynasty, and among others advised him on military campaigns. She was a patron of art and architecture, donated grants to mosques, She outlived her husband, who died 1445, by a decade, maneuvered her favorite grandson onto the throne, and was executed on July 19th 1457 on the order of Sultan Abu Sa'id. Goharshad had a mosque ("Masjed-e Goharshad") built in 1418 in Mashad, Khorasan. Her sister, Gohar Taj also has a tomb in Khorasan. (lived before 1377-1457).

1556-64 Regent for the Governor Mah-Chehak Begum of Kabul
Also known as Mah Čučak Bigum, she was regent for her son, Prince Mirza Muhammad Hakim (1553-56-85), son of the Moghul Emperor Humayum (1508-56), to whom she was a concobuine. She was murdered in 1565. 

1919-29 Politically Influential H.M. Queen Soraya Shah
She influenced her husband, King Amanulluh Shah, who was one of the most liberal rulers of the country. He abolished slavery, liberalized the family code, child marriage was limited, women got right to choose their own husband, etc. In 1928 Soraya and her daughters appeared unveiled. Conservative forces forced her husband to abdicate in 1929, and they went into exile first in India and then in Rome. She was his third husband, he married two more times, and lived (1892-1960) She was the daughter of Mahmud Beg Tarzi, sometime Minister for Foreign Affairs, and lived (1897-1968).

1978-80 Member of the Revolutionary Council Dr. Anahita Ratebzad
1980-86 Member of the Presidency of the Revolutionary Council and the Politburo of the Communist Party (Deputy Head of State) 
She was ambassador to Yugoslavia 1978, Minister of Social Affairs 1978-79 and Minister of Education 1980. (b. 1928-)

1980-circa 89 Member of the Revolutionary Council Jamila Palwashad
From 1986 also Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party.

1980-89 Member of the Revolutionary Council Suraya

1986-89 Member of the Revolutionary Council Adina Sangin
Also member of the Politburo.

Around 1990- Warlord Bibi Ayesha Kaftar in the Narin district
Known as "The Pigeon", she has fought the Russians, the Taleban and many local rivals in the brooding mountains on the borders of the Province of Baghlan, and claims to have 150 men under her command, while the United Nation estimates that she has weapons for at least 50 . Her only concession to social mores is that she insists that a male relative accompany her into battle, in line with Afghan tradition for women outside the home. The UN are planning to disarm her and the other illegal armed groups, but she refuses to give up her weapons. Her four surviving sons are her loyal lieutenants. 2 others have been killed in battle. (b. 1954-).


Last update 14.05.06