Afghanistan: Benazir Hotaki

As an advocate of the women’s rights movement in Afghanistan, I am very optimistic about the future of the country.

— Benazir Hotaki

Born in 1939 in Kabul, Benazir Hotaki attended Malalai School in Kabul. After her graduation from high school, she traveled to Australia where she obtained a BA in Education from the University of Queensland. Upon completion of her degree, she returned to Afghanistan and served as an educator in several schools. She is one of the few women who were able to study abroad. Hotaki was also involved in the reconciliation process between the government and different opposition groups in the years 1985-1986.

Serving in different capacities as an educator, Benazir Hotaki was at the forefront of the women’s movement in Afghanistan and has first hand experience of educating many women. She was selected as "teacher of the year" on four occasions. She has also been a prolific writer, publishing numerous articles for the local media. As an advocate of the women’s rights movement in Afghanistan, she intends to nominate herself for the upcoming parliamentary election, as a symbolic gesture to encourage women in Afghanistan to participate in political and social activities. Benazir Hotaki currently chairs the Council of Information and Culture at the Ministry of Information and Culture (MIC) in Kabul. She liaises with women journalists and advises them on different issues concerning women. Drawing from her experiences as a participant in the reconciliation movement in 1986, Benazir is confident that the Afghans will avail themselves of this opportunity. While the emergence of women leaders and the agenda of women's rights are resisted by many voices in the country, she is hopeful that in due time this resistance will be overcome.

Ministry of Information and Culture (MIC)