Meet Afghan woman who cross dresses to stave off electricity thieves
London, June 5 (ANI): A 50-year-old Afghan woman, who decided to run for political office in a fight to get electricity to her village in the northern Balkh province of the country, says she has to disguise herself with men's clothes and wear a fake moustache to control some people.
Zarifa Qazizadah mission first started in 2004 and, undeterred by the people who laughed at her ideas, she fought on.
To keep her promise to voters on electricity, even though she failed in her bid to get elected to parliament, she travelled to Kabul to confront Minister for Power, Shaker Kargar, and demanded to speak to him.
He agreed to see her the following day in his office and by the end of the meeting he had given his consent but insisted the village had to pay for the posts and cables itself.
Determined Zarifa, who had already sold some of her jewellery to pay for the trip to Kabul, borrowed money where she could and remortgaged her house to raise the cash.
Five months later everyone in the village had electricity in their home.
She has now been asked to become head of the Naw Abad village.
And now her work has been recognised with her being appointed as one of the village elders and if someone is found to connect themselves to the grid without permission they have to answer to her.
She claims she become village chief through force of personality and determination to get things done - but she has to wear a fake moustache to control some people.
"I tell the men of the village all I want is their prayers - when they have a problem, I'll speak to the government on their behalf," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
"Whenever there is any disturbance at night-time I'll pick up my gun and go to their house to see what's going on.
"When something happens in the village at night and I have to react quickly I put on men's clothes and ride my motorbike. I can't let people steal electricity because we have to respect the law," she added.
Women in rural Afghanistan are rarely seen riding motorbikes alone so mother-of-15 Zarifa disguises herself with men's clothes and a fake moustache to avoid attracting attention.
Qazizadah has become an inspiration to other women in her village and she tells them that they could achieve the same as her as she is a housewife just like them. (ANI)
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