Human Rights and Gender Equity in Afghanistan

Dr Sima Samar in conversation with Indigo Foundation’s Sally Stevenson.

The Indigo Foundation is co-hosting a visit to Australia by Dr Sima Samar, the Independent Chair of the Afghan Human Rights Commission, first Minister for Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan and a Nobel Prize nominee. From 2005-2009, Dr Samar also served as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights for Sudan.

Dr Samar will share her insights on some of the key human rights and gender equity challenges in Afghanistan and how the agenda might be progressed. She will be in conversation with Sally Stevenson, chair of  Indigo Foundation – a Wollongong-based development NGO and UOW Cares partner.

This event is sponsored by the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research at the University of Wollongong

Date: Tuesday 30 May
Time: 12.30-1.30
Venue: 24.202, University of Wollongong

All welcome. Please register your attendance with Susan Engel <> by Friday 26 May.

Dr Sima Samar
In 1984, the communist regime arrested her husband, and Sima and her young son fled to neighboring Pakistan. Distressed by the total lack of health care facilities for Afghan refugee women, she established in 1989 the Shuhada Organization and Shuhada Clinic in Quetta, Pakistan. The Shuhada Organization was dedicated to the provision of health care to Afghan women and girls, training of medical staff and to education. In the following years further branches of the clinic/hospital were opened throughout Afghanistan. From 1989-2011, Shuhada’s health programmes benefited over 3.3 million people, its education programmes 176,000, and its vocational training 6,000 people. It has also given human rights trainings to 220,000 people. After living as refugee for over a decade, Samar returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to assume a cabinet post in the Afghan Transitional Administration led by Hamid Karzai. In the interim government, she served as Deputy President and then as Minister for Women’s Affairs. She was forced into resignation from her post after she was threatened with death and harassed for questioning conservative Islamic laws, especially sharia law. During the 2003 Loya Jirga, several religious conservatives took out an advertisement in a local newspaper calling Samar the Salman Rushdie of Afghanistan. From 2005-2009, Dr Samar also served as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights for Sudan. She is the winner of a range of human rights awards. A more detailed biography can be found at: <>

Download an information flier for this event here: Sima Samar.