She was one of the first female mayors in Afghanistan and the youngest woman appointed at age 26.
Death threats, assassination attempts, and the murder of her father did not stop Zarifa Ghafari from doing her job.
But last August, after the Taliban came to power, the former Mayor of Maidan Shar, a city in Afghanistan, had to leave his country.
“The day Kabul fell… I saw how everything changed within hours, it was a shock. It was a shock and it will remain a shock,” Ghafari told Euronews.
His family managed to escape by hiding in a car. During the trip, he hid in the footwell of the car, protecting himself every time they passed a Taliban checkpoint.
She finally came to Germany.
“I was just trying to convince my family to let me be there. I was trying to at least find a way not to go, you know? But I had to leave,” said Ghafari.
“And the moment I got on the plane it was harder than losing my father. When I got on the plane, I was leaving all my family members, a big family member, my Afghanistan nation.”
Now she is trying to pressure the international community to do more for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
On Thursday, Ghafari was in Brussels to attend the “European State,” a conference organized by the Friends of Europe.
And his message to the international community is clear: “Please stop talking to the Taliban government. It gives them recognition, gives them strength, and motivates them to do whatever they want to do in Afghanistan.”
Ghafari’s dream is to one day return to Afghanistan, but until then she will continue to fight for women’s rights around the world.