This photograph taken on May 11, 2016 shows Afghan Hazara tribe female governor of Daikundi province Masooma Muradi (C) walking in a bazaar in Nili, capital of Daikundi province.AFP / SHAH MARAI
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Surrounded by male advisers and condescending "mansplainers," Masooma Muradi holds her own against a deep underswell of sexism in a society unused to women exercising authority. Breaking new ground as Afghanistan's only female governor, Muradi's ascent to the top post in remote Daikundi province is a remarkable feat in Afghanistan, where patriarchal traditions are at odds with progressive ideas about a woman's place in the world.The mother-of-two was handpicked by Ghani in Kabul to lead Daikundi, a mosaic of rolling hills and boulder-strewn ridges in central Afghanistan, hemmed in by insurgency-wracked provinces.But protests erupted even before she arrived in Daikundi, with political opponents – almost all men – pillorying her lack of governance experience.Daikundi's administration has long been a boys' club, which was apparent at a recent provincial council meeting, attended by more than a dozen men but just one woman.Only when a woman UNDP official attending the meeting asked for her view, was she able to speak.Last year, for the first time in Afghanistan's history he nominated a woman to the supreme court, but when she was rejected by parliament he appointed a man instead.He also dismissed the only other woman governor, of central Ghor province, after protests from religious conservatives.
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