Shahla Ata is resident of Kandahar and belongs to the Muhammadzai tribe. She was born in 1967 in Kabul.
She completed her school education from Rabia Balkhi higher secondary school in Kabul in 1985 and migrated to Pakistan in 1986.
She received her higher education in psychology from a private university in Pakistan.
After completing her education, Shahla Ata worked at the Afghan-German, Arab and Aabdara Road hospitals for Afghans. She was assistant at the hospitals. She went to the United States in 1990.
During her stay in the United States, Shahla Ata says she shared the problems of Afghans living in Peshawar with those living in the United States. She returned to Pakistan in 1994 to help the Afghan refugees.
She reconstructed a building for a school in Kacha Garhi camp in Peshawar, constructed two more schools in Nasir Bagh camp and established a school and a health clinic in Jalozai camp for refugees.
She remained to work providing blankets, sleeping mats and medicines to Afghan refugees in Pakistan till 2001. Shahla Ata said she completed the works with the help of her own family and Afghan refugees in the United States and her personal funds.
She returned to Afghanistan in 2001 and supported the displaced people of Helmand province with food and other items. She was elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Kabul.
She worked as deputy of the monitoring commission of the Wolesi Jirga to ensure implementation of the law. She also served as member of the commission for counter-narcotics. Mother of five, Shahla Ata can speak Pashto, Dari and English.