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Afghanistan Appoints First-Ever Woman Governor

Afghanistan has appointed its first female provincial governor in keeping with the new government's policy of promoting women to positions of power.

Interior Minister Ali Jalali announced the appointment of Habiba Sarobi as Afghanistan's first ever-female governor.

Mr. Jalali says the appointment was originally suggested by his ministry and is part of a wider reorganizing of provincial-governor posts.

Ms. Sarobi will head the government of Bamiyan, a central Afghan province inhabited mostly by members of the ethnic Hazara minority.

Ms. Sarobi, herself an Hazara, served as minister for women's affairs until replaced recently by former presidential candidate Masooda Jalal.

Her appointment is part of a national initiative to place more women in positions of power. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and others in his administration have urged a wider political role for women.

The Islamist Taleban government, overthrown by an Afghan-U.S. coalition in 2001, severely limited women's rights, excluding women from politics, business, and all but the most rudimentary education.