Afghanistan: Prominent female politician and 'brave voice' Angeza Shinwari dies after car bomb attack


Afghan officials have been paying tribute to a prominent female politician who died on Sunday following a bomb attack. Angeza Shinwari, a provincial councillor in eastern Nangarhar province, was an outspoken campaigner for women's rights.President Ashraf Ghani called her death a "great loss". Female politicians, professionals and activists are regularly targeted in Afghanistan. "Angeza Shinwari was not just a woman, but voice of hundreds of thousands of women who are living out there with no voice heard and no opinions stated," tweeted Javid Faisal, the spokesman for Afghanistan's chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Ms Shinwari and no-one has been arrested. She was badly injured in Nangarhar's provincial capital of Jalalabad on 10 February when a bomb attached to her car exploded. Her driver was killed and four others were injured.

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Ms Shinwari died after a car bomb attack on 10 February. Photo: Khaama Press

Ms Shinwari was transferred to hospital in Kabul for treatment, but died around midnight on Sunday. Zabihullah Zmaray, a fellow provincial council member, told the BBC that Ms Shinwari's injuries had been severe: "She lost both her legs in the explosion and it's because of that that she lost a lot of blood," he said.

Brave voice

Ms Shinwari, who was in her early 30s, studied literature at Nangarhar university and worked as a teacher and a radio journalist before going into politics. She was elected for a second term on the Nangarhar council only last year.

The BBC's reporter in Jalalabad, Babrak Miakhel, says she was regarded as a brave voice in the province and was a frequent presence at public gatherings of men and women where she spoke with confidence. Ms Shinwari campaigned for women's rights, human rights and justice. She spoke out against the phenomenon of 'opium brides' - the practice by some impoverished poppy farmers of selling female relatives to settle disputes or debts.

Her activism brought her enemies locally, Babrak Miakhel reports.

Ms Shinwari was also active on social media where friends and followers have been posting tributes. The former director of the Afghan Women's Network, Samira Hamidi tweeted, "This is alarming all working women!"

This article was originally published on 16 February 2015 by the BBC and is available here:

Afghan officials' tributes to Afghan female politician