On Thursday 6 March, MPs took part in a debate on a motion relating to the security situation of women in Afghanistan. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following representations from Sir Robert Smith, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Fiona O’Donnell.
Watch the debate and read the transcript
This debate was the first item of main business on Thursday 6 March and began at 1.20pm.
The debate on the security situation of women in Afghanistan followed the Select Committee statement on Ninth Report from the Defence Committee, on Future Army 2020.
Text of the Motion
"That this House recognises, ahead of critical presidential elections in April 2014, the essential contribution of Afghan human rights defenders to building peace and security in their country; further recognises the extreme challenges, including violent attacks and killings, that they face as a result of their peaceful work; believes that sustainable peace and security cannot be achieved in Afghanistan without women’s full participation; and encourages the UK Government to improve its support and protection for women human rights defenders in Afghanistan."
How the subject was selected
Sir Robert Smith, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Fiona O’Donnell made a representation for this debate at the public meeting of the Backbench Business Committee on 11 February.
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.