Maine Law to host women’s rights leader from Afghanistan

November 7, 2013

Dr. Sima Samar, a renowned human rights and women’s rights advocate from Afghanistan, will deliver the University of Maine School of Law’s third annual Justice for Women Lecture in March 2014.

Dr. Samar is the founder of the Shuhada Organization, dedicated to the welfare and progress of Afghan citizens, with a primary focus on the empowerment of women and children. The organization operates more than 100 schools and 15 clinics and hospitals. Dr. Samar served in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan and established the first-ever Ministry of Women's Affairs, following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the ouster of the Taliban government. She is a recipient of the Profile of Courage Award, and is one of the central subjects of the 2004 documentary, Daughters of Afghanistan. Since 2004, Dr. Samar has served as chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

The University of Maine School of Law, located in Portland, is committed to promoting social justice in Maine and around the world. The Justice for Women Lecture series brings speakers to Maine each year to discuss their work and strategies to promote justice for women and girls. Beyond the lecture, speakers engage in a range of community events during their visit. The Law School established the lecture series in 2011 with leadership from attorney and civic leader Catherine Lee. The Lecture Series is supported in part by the generosity of community partners, including CIEE, and other donors.

Previous lecturers were the Hon. Unity Dow (2012), the first woman to serve as a judge on Botswana’s High Court; and Leymah Gbowee (2013), an activist and women’s rights advocate who won a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end civil war in Liberia.

The 2014 Justice for Women Lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at the Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland, Maine. The event is free and open to the public. Due to limited space, however, registration is required. To register, please use the online registration form available here.

Learn more at “Justice For Women Lecture Series” on Facebook. For information about supporting the series, please email the law school at

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