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When the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 2021 after two decades of democratic rule, the world watched in horror. Despite initial promises that women would be able to exercise their rights within Sharia Law, the Taliban has systematically excluded women and girls from public life.

In the months that have followed, the situation has only grown more desperate for Afghanistan’s women, who now live under one of the most restrictive regimes in the world. They are unable to access secondary education, travel without a male relative, and even more recently have been banned from attending universities and working for aid organisations, further erasing professional and public opportunities.

To keep the spotlight on this worsening crisis – which is only being compounded by economic sanctions and the near-total isolation of Afghanistan in a global context – join GIWL for a conversation about women’s rights under the Taliban and the need to not lose focus on the plight of women in Afghanistan.

The event will begin with a screening of the award-winning four-minute short film Samira’s Camera, which powerfully illustrates the plight of Afghan women during the regime change.


  • Zahra Joya, journalist and founder of Rukhshana Media, an organisation that tells the stories of Afghan women globally 
  • Christina Lamb, Chief Foreign Correspondent, The Sunday Times 
  • Paula Kweskin, founder of the 49%, and attorney specialising in international humanitarian and human rights law. Director of Samira’s Camera.
  • Sveto Muhammad Ishoq, women's rights activist, TEDx speaker and social entrepreneur 
  • Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership (chair)


Event details

Science Gallery London
Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9GU