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What progress has been made on women’s rights in Afghanistan? Lords Committee to ask Afghan Minister for Human Rights

The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will tomorrow continue its inquiry into relations between the UK and Afghanistan with evidence on progress on women’s rights and Afghanistan’s relationship with its neighbours including Iran, India and Pakistan.

The evidence sessions will start at 10am on Wednesday 28 October and will be available to follow at

The witnesses giving evidence to the Committee are:


Dr Sima Samar, Special Envoy of the President of Afghanistan and State Minister for Human Rights and International Affairs of Afghanistan
Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, Co-Chair of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security and Patron, the Afghan Connection


Dr Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University, and Institute of Political Studies, Sciences Po Paris
Dr Avinash Paliwal, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the South Asia Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies

In the first session the Committee will ask the witnesses what progress has been made on women’s rights and participation in public life since 2001 and whether that the progress has been universal or differs by social economic status or ethnic group. The session will also cover the role of women in the Doha peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban and how effective foreign aid in Afghanistan has been in supporting women’s rights in the country.

The second session will look at the development of Iran and India’s influence in Afghanistan including the countries’ interest in security and trade and how their role might change after the withdrawal of US troops. The Committee will also ask how the UK can work with Afghanistan’s neighbours to achieve its development objectives for the country.

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