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Afghanistan Names First Female Governor --> Kabul, 2 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan today named its first female provincial governor in a move considered a step forward in the political progress of women since the fall of the Taliban.

The appointment of Habiba Sorabi as the new governor of Bamiyan was announced in a brief statement on state-run Kabul Television.

Sorabi, who was picked from an all-women list, served as women's affairs minister in the previous interim administration of President Hamid Karzai, which approved a constitution enshrining equal rights for women last year.

Karzai's new administration, formed after his October election victory, contains three women ministers. Sorabi fled to live in neighboring Pakistan during the Taliban's rule, only returning after U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban after the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001.

(Reuters/RFE's Afghan Service/dpa)