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Sima Samar

Ladies and Gentlemen! First of all, I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to this important programme, and it is indeed a pleasure for me to speak in this timely programme. Secondly, I would like to mention that I am not a lawyer, and do not even have an academic background in any sector. I am simply a medical doctor and have lived in a male-dominated society that is poverty driven and is in a continued conflict situation. I have experienced discrimination based on my sex, ethnicity and the religion that my family practised. In order to survive such a situation, I chose and continued to fight for equality and human rights in Afghanistan. My talk today is based on my personal experience in a country where human rights abuse and violation is our daily scenario, sometimes even unnoticed. Afghanistan is a country that suffers from four decades of war; almost the majority of the powerful countries in the world are somehow involved in the conflict. Different regimes have come and gone, each one of them violated the human rights of the people, particularly the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups including the rights of minorities.