Diplomat Championing Women’s Rights

Dec/30/2022 / by Swarnendu Biswas
Roya Rahmani
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Roya Rahmani is a diplomat from Afghanistan who has the distinction of serving as the Afghanistan’s first female Ambassador to the US during December 2018-July 2021. During the same period, she also served as the  non-resident Ambassador to MexicoArgentinaColombia, and the Dominican Republic.

As a diplomat Roya Rahmani rose to heights of excellence. Prior to holding these esteemed positions, she also served as the Afghanistan’s first female Ambassador to Indonesia, first ever Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Afghanistan’s non-resident Ambassador to Singapore. Roya Rahmani has also been the first Director General for Regional Cooperation at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The lady has close to two-decade-long innings of working with governments, non governmental organizations, and multilateral institutions.

While exploring about Roya Rahmani we can come to know that she rose to such lofty heights in diplomacy despite her initial years of hardship and struggle. Born in Kabul, in May 1978, her schooling was disturbed for months by the civil war raging through the country. The continual civil war during 1992-96 compelled her family to migrate to Pakistan, in 1993. In Peshwar, Pakistan, she attended a school for refugees.

Roya Rahmani returned to Kabul in 1998 and in the following year she got a scholarship from the World University Service of Canada and went to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, in 2004.

In between her graduation from McGill University and her master’s degree in public administration and international law from Columbia University in New York, which she earned in 2009, she worked in various non profits in Afghanistan, which focused primarily on women’s rights and education.

 The biography of Roya Rahmani should also include the fact that she worked in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education as a Planning and Evaluation Advisor and thereafter joined Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Afghanistan. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she first served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister during 2011, and, then as Director General for Regional Cooperation during 2012-2016.

As Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, she advocated for women’s rights, especially women’s role in the peace process. 

A Fulbright Scholar, she has won several awards and fellowships during her illustrious career.

She was the recipient of the Best Human Rights Activist Award by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in 2007 for her work on a marriage document that secured equitable rights for the family and contributed towards data collection at a national level. More recently, she was featured on Time Magazine’s “100 Next List” as a “fierce advocate of peace on Afghan terms,” in 2019.

The fact that the age of Roya Rahmani is only 44 years signifies that she has a long way to go in her journey through women’s rights and diplomacy. Even the present oppressive socio-political climate in Afghanistan is not likely to dampen her spirits.


To whom is Roya Rahmani married to?

She is married and has one daughter but the name of her husband is not found in public domain.

What is the educational qualification of Roya Rahmani?

She earned her master’s degree in public administration and international law from Columbia University in New York.

When was Roya Rahmani appointed as the Ambassador of Afghanistan?

Roya Rahmani first became an Ambassador of Afghanistan in July 2016.


Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Get notified about exclusive stories every week!

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Seema will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.