Sima Samar, former Ms Magazine Woman of the Year and long-time champion of women’s rights in Afghanistan, was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters during Brown University’s 237th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday.
Samar is the chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, a position from which she oversees the implementation of a women’s rights education program as well as monitoring human rights abuses. Previously, she was deputy prime minister and minister of women’s affairs for the interim administration of Afghanistan, establishing the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Samar is also the founder and director of the Shuhada Organization, which oversees health, education and economic projects for women and girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Furthermore, Samar gave the Stephen A. Ogden Memorial Lecture as part of the weekend’s commencement activities. She described the ongoing killings of women, and barriers to education, telling the crowd, “Women’s rights and human rights will not be real unless there is enough security and law enforcement in the country. At the same time, real security is not possible unless women’s rights and human rights are respected and promoted so they become a reality.”
LEARN MORE Read the text of Samar’s speech