From rural Afghanistan to the halls of power and the global diplomatic stage
If one had to describe the life of Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada in just three words, they would be "against all odds."
Shinkai Karokhail was born and raised in rural Afghanistan, where education for young girls is not a priority. Nevertheless, she finished high school.
During the Soviet invasion and the years of Taliban rule, her family moved to Pakistan, also a country that oppresses women. But she attended university, became a medical doctor, and a champion for the education of girls and women.
Forced marriage does not exist in our religion, but I don't know why Afghan men are still forcing the very young and teenagers to go for marriage. Some of these men don't know the real interpretation of Islam, but secondly they are manipulating Islam just to control over half the population.- Shinkai Karokhail
When she returned to her homeland, Shinkai Karokhail successfully ran for office in 2005 and served two terms as a member of parliament. She was the only MP who publicly opposed controversial legislation promoted by then-President Hamid Karzai: the Shia Family Law. It would legalize marital rape, proposed nine as the legal age of marriage and sought to withdraw many other rights of women.
Click the button above to hear Michael's interview with Shinkai Karokhail.