Guest Profile

Rangina Hamidi

Rangina Hamidi was the first female Minister of Education of Afghanistan in the last 30 years, appointed April 12, 2021. Ms Hamidi was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. During the Soviet Occupation in 1982, she and her family fled to Pakistan and eventually immigrated to the United States. She attended high school in the United States and graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors degree, double majoring in Religion and Gender Studies.

In 2003, Ms Hamidi returned to Afghanistan to help rebuild her country. Using her leadership and management skills, she founded Kandahar Treasure in 2008. This organization was the first women-owned and women-run social enterprise in Kandahar Province. Kandahar Treasure grew to provide over 400 women sustainable income with the production of exquisite hand-embroidered textiles for apparel and home décor. The products are marketed nationally and internationally. While it is critically important to empower women financially, Minister Hamidi realized the emphasis of education after experiencing that fundamental change in women’s lives will come through education only.

Today Former Minister Hamidi continues to champion the rights of girls and women, supporting new education initiatives designed to achieve goals for universal and equitable education, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She has made it her personal mission to become the role model for many girls in Afghanistan who will one day change the future of their country.

She augmented her university education with participation in two entrepreneurship programs: Project Artemis at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and the Business Council for Peace’s “Silk Road Fashion Training” at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Ms. Hamidi has received numerous international awards and is an engaging speaker representing the voice of Afghan women on international platforms. She has also shared her story as a social entrepreneur through presentations at the Textile Society of America’s Biannual Symposium, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, and the Clinton Global Initiative. Her co-authored book with Mary Littrell, Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future, was published in 2017 by Thrums Press and received the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for cultural books from the Independent Book Publishers Association. In addition to her continuing involvement with Kandahar Treasure, Ms. Hamidi served as Principal of the Mezan International School in Kabul, Afghanistan from Jan 2017 for 3 years.