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|Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Revolutionary Council|
27 December 1980 – 24 November 1985
|Member of the Politburo of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan|
Guldara in Kabul province , Afghanistan
Ratebzad was deputy head of state in the PDPA government from 1980 to 1986. She was the first Afghan woman to play an active role in government and one of the few Afghan women to become a medical doctor. Born in Guldara in Kabul province, Ratebzad attended the Malalai Lycée in Kabul. She received a degree in nursing from the Chicago School of Nursing and an M.D. degree from Kabul University. She became involved in leftist politics and, along with Khadija Ahrari, Masuma Esmati Wardak, and Roqia Abubakr, was one of the first four women elected to parliament in 1965.
A founder of the PDPA, she was active in the Parcham wing of that party. She served as ambassador to Belgrade (1978–1980), minister of social affairs (1978–1979), and minister of education (1979–1980). In 1986 President Najibullah replaced the Parcham government and Ratebzad fled to Moscow with her companion Babrak Karmal. They returned to Kabul in 1989, but were forced to flee to Moscow again in 1992 when the Najibullah government fell. After the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, they did not return to Kabul.
Ratebzad wrote the May 28, 1978 New Kabul Times editorial which declared: "Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country ... Educating and enlightening women is now the subject of close government attention."
- Arnold, Anthony. Afghanistan's Two-Party Communism: Parcham and Khalq. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1983.
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