Maryam Durrani is from Kandahar Province, one of the most conservative and dangerous provinces in Afghanistan and since long considered a Taliban stronghold. Ms. Durrani is an outspoken advocate on the rights of Afghan women and girls. In 2005, when she was just 21, she was elected to Kandahar’s Provincial Council and she was re-elected in 2009. She is the director of the non-profit Khadija Kubra Women’s Association for Culture, whose mission is to empower women to take on leadership roles throughout the country. Ms. Durrani is also the owner and manager of the only local, female -focused radio station. In 2012 Time Magazine named her as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”, stating "Durrani stands up for the region's women with remarkable bravery." The US Department of State nominated Ms. Durani for the 2012 International Women of Courage Award.