Fawzia Koofi is an Afghan politician and women’s rights activist. On the day she was born in rural Afghanistan, her mother set her under the blazing sun to die. Koofi was the 19th child of 23 in a polygamous family with seven wives, and her mother did not want another daughter. Despite severe burns, she survived and became the favorite child. Koofi is Afghanistan’s first female Parliament speaker and a noted activist for women and children’s rights. She has written two books about her experiences in Afghanistan under the exploitative rule of the Mujahideen and Taliban. There have been numerous attempts on her life—and her father, brother and husband have all been killed. Koofi has announced her intention to run as a presidential candidate in the 2014 elections in Afghanistan.
Koofi is an amazing woman with an awe-inspiring story. If you’re interested in watching her speak for a few minutes, she appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on February 13, 2013.