An Evening in Conversation with Dr Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR), The University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney invite you to join us for an evening in conversation with Dr Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), discussing the AIHRC’s work addressing women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan.

The situation for women and girls in Afghanistan in relation to their human rights is complex and multi-layered. While Afghanistan is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, access to basic human rights such as education, employment and rights to divorce remain contested. This is particularly so in the provinces. Dr. Sima Samar will speak about her work with the AIHRC and the current status of women and girls in Afghanistan.



Dr. Samar is the Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Before chairing the Commission, she was elected as the Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in 2002. At the UN Bonn meeting on Afghanistan in 2001, Dr. Samar was chosen to be the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. Dr. Samar has received various international awards for her work on human rights and democracy. In 2001 she received the John Humphrey Freedom Award. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Dr. Samar was forced to flee after her husband was arrested. He was never heard from again. In Pakistan, Dr. Samar worked to set up medical services for Afghan refugees. In 1987, she helped open the first hospital for women, staffed by women in Quetta, Pakistan. In 1989, she established the Shuhada Organization, a non-governmental and non-profit organization committed to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan with special emphasis on the empowerment of women and children. In 2010 she established Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education which has attracted more than 2400 students since its establishment of which more than 35% are women. Sima Samar was born in February 1957 in Ghazni province. She obtained her degree in medicine in February 1982 from Kabul University; she was the first Hazara woman to achieve this in Afghanistan.



On Tuesday 23 May 2017 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Light refreshments will be served prior to a 6.30pm start.


The University of Sydney
New Law Building, Law Foyer, Level 2, Eastern Ave, Camperdown, NSW 2006


Registrations for this event are free but attendees are asked to offer a tax deductible donation to the Women’s Empowerment Centre (WEC) at the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) in Kabul. Donations can be made via the Indigo Foundation which has proudly supported the WEC since 2011.

WEC builds a supportive environment and provides opportunities to help young Afghan women complete a quality education in law, political science and economics. GIHE was established in 2010 by Dr Sima Samar, Nobel Prize nominee and head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights commission.

You can donate now during the registration process or on the evening in cash.

Click here to find out more about the Women’s Empowerment Centre