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Frontrunner: The Afghan Woman Who Surprised the World

Frontrunner: The Afghan Woman Who Surprised the World is the heroic story of the first woman to run for President of Afghanistan. Frontrunner introduces us to Dr. Massouda Jalal, a mother of three children, whose campaign inspired thousands of women across the country to participate in the democratic processes.

As an advocate during the Taliban regime, Dr. Massouda Jalal risked her life on a daily basis. Now, she boldly runs for president—the only woman in a field of 17 candidates. Amidst death threats and bomb attacks, we follow Massouda as she doggedly campaigns from the back of a taxi, in mosques, in homes, in busy markets and in the streets. We accompany her as she travels to radio stations (trying to convince skeptical callers that a woman can indeed run a country), watch as she films a political ad, and eavesdrop on her strategy sessions. She receives support from AWAZ Media, a non-profit organization that has been enlisted by the UN to provide resources—strategy, equipment, know-how—to all the candidates.

In Frontrunner, Jalal emerges as a committed, confident woman. Although she ultimately lost the election to Hamid Karzai, her courageous campaign opened the door for over 550 women to run for Parliament just a few months later.

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Dr. Jalal - Her Own Faith, 2007

This is a promo for a proposed documentary on Dr. Massouda Jalal, former Minister of Women's Affairs of Afghanistan & the first Afghan woman to contest the Presidential elections. During her contract with the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, Video Journalist, Flavia Abdurahman, gathered her own exclusive footage of the Minister, in Kabul & on her journeys to Badakhshan, where she was the first Minister to visit the area, which, at that time, had the highest maternal mortality rate in the world.

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