Habiba Sarābi

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Habiba Sarābi
حبیبه سرابی
Habiba Sarabi in April 2011.jpg
Sarābi in April 2011
Governor of Bamyan Province
In office
23 March 2005 – 14 October 2013
Preceded byMohammad Rahim Aliyar
Succeeded byGhulam Ali Wahdat
2nd Minister of Women's Affairs
In office
July 2002 – December 2004
Preceded bySima Samar
Succeeded byMassouda Jalal
Personal details

1956 (age 64–65)
Sarāb, Jaghatu District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan
Nationality Afghanistan
Political partyTruth and Justice
FatherAbdul Hamid

Dr. Habiba Sarābi (Dari: حبیبه سرابی‎) (born 1956) is a hematologist, politician, and reformer of the post-Taliban reconstruction of Afghanistan. In 2005, she was appointed as Governor of Bamyan Province by President Hamid Karzai, which made her the first Afghan woman to become a governor of any province in the country. She previously served as Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs as well as Minister of Culture and Education.[dead link] Sarabi has been instrumental in promoting women's rights and representation and environment issues. She belongs to the ethnic Hazara people of Afghanistan. Her last name is sometimes spelled Sarobi.


Sarābi was born in Sarāb, Ghazni Province[1] and spent her youth traveling around the country with her father. She later moved to Kabul to attend high school and study medicine at university. After graduating in 1987, she was awarded a fellowship by the World Health Organization and moved to India to complete her studies in hematology.[citation needed]

During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Dr. Sarabi and her children fled to Peshawar, Pakistan, but returned frequently in secret. Her husband stayed behind in Kabul to care for his family. She also worked underground as a teacher for girls, both secretly in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in Pakistan for Afghan refugees. In 1998, she joined the Afghan Institute of Learning[dead link] and eventually became the General Manager of the entire organization. She was also the Vice President of Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan.[dead link][citation needed]

As governor, Sarabi has announced one of her focuses will be on tourism as a source of income. The province has historically been a source of Buddhist culture and was the location of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the two ancient statues destroyed by the Taliban prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. However, Bamiyan remains one of the poorest and most under-developed provinces of Afghanistan, with a litany of problems including high rates of illiteracy and poverty.[citation needed]

In 2008 Time magazine included her in its list of Heroes of the Environment (2008), partly for her work in establishing the Band-e Amir National Park of Afghanistan in Bamiyan.[2] In 2013, she won the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

She also received the N-Peace Award in 2016 for her tireless work to bring peace to Afghanistan and its focus on gender equality and women's empowerment.

Habiba Sarabi is currently a member of the Peace Negotiation Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.[3]

On 8 March 2018, International Women's Day, she delivered a statement to the UN Security Council[4] during the Open Debate on the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ W. Adamec, Ludwig (2012). Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan. Scarecrow Press. p. 399. ISBN 9780810878150.
  2. ^ Time Magazine October 6th 2008. See Time Magazine web page Archived August 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Qazi, Shereena. "Who are the Afghan women negotiating peace with the Taliban?". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  4. ^ "UN Security Council Briefing on Afghanistan by Habiba Sarabi". NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2020-10-26.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mohammad Rahim Aliyar
Governor of Bamyan, Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sima Samar
Minister of Women's Affairs, Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Massouda Jalal