Anahita Ratebzad

Anahita Ratebzad

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Anahita Ratebzad is a female Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and former member of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a communist party established on the 1 January 1965. While a minority, the party helped former president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, to overthrow his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and established Daoud's Republic of Afghanistan...

 and the Revolutionary Council.

Ratebzad was deputy head of state in the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (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
Guldara
Guldara is a village and the center of Guldara District, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. It is located at at 1722 m altitude, 45 km North of Kabul. The village was almost fully destroyed and now is continuing the process of rehabilitation. A new clinic has been opened...

 in Kabul province
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

, 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
Kabul University
Kabul University is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 but officially opened for classes in 1932. Kabul University is currently attended by approximately 7,000 students, of which 1,700 are women. As of 2008, Hamidullah Amin is the chancellor of the university...

. She became involved in leftist politics and along with Khadija Ahrari
Khadija Ahrari
Khadija Ahrari along with Dr. Anahita Ratebzad, Roqia Abubakr and Masuma Esmati Wardak were the first four women elected to the Afghan Parliament in 1965 following the Constitution of Afghanistan of 1964 which granted women the right to vote....

, Masuma Esmati Wardak, and Roqia Abubakr
Roqia Abubakr
Roqia Abubakr, along with Khadija Ahrari, Masuma Esmati Wardak, and Anahita Ratebzad, became the first four women elected to parliament in 1965 following the Constitution of 1964 granting women in Afghanistan the right to vote....

 became the first four women elected to parliament in 1965. A founder of the PDPA, she was active in the Parcham
Parcham
Parcham was the name of one of the factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. The Parcham faction seized power in the country after toppling Hafizullah Amin....

 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
Babrak Karmal
Babrak Karmal was the third President of Afghanistan during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership....

. 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 famous 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.”