President Ashraf Ghani, who took power in 2014 promising to appoint women to significant roles in public office, appointed Seema Joyenda in June as governor of Ghor province. At the time, she became one of just two women provincial governors.
But her appointment prompted protests by religious figures and local politicians and even death threats – faced by many working women in Afghanistan.
On Thursday, Joyenda was removed from her post and appointed deputy governor of Kabul province, where the capital of Kabul is located, effective immediately, according to Nadir Yama, deputy policy director of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance. The directorate is a powerful body in charge of appointing provincial governors and supporting governance at local and provincial levels.
Munera Yousufzada, the IDLG’s spokeswoman, denied that the authorities had forced Joyenda to leave her post in Ghor but would not elaborate further on the sudden relocation to Kabul province.