Monsef's father died when she was still an infant and her mother struggled to raise her three daughters under the growing problems in Afghanistan. She moved the family between Iran and Afghanistan for many years, until they finally made the journey to Canada as refugees, settling in Peterborough, Ontario.
Monsef's induction into politics happened when she ran for mayor of Peterborough in 2014. She did not win, but the Liberal Party of Canada chose her to represent them in the upcoming federal election. She was elected on the 19th of October 2015. PM Justin Trudeau soon appointed her as the Minister of Democratic Institutions and later the Minister of the Status of Women. She is the second-youngest Canadian minister ever.