Entrenching Women’s Rights: The Promise and Potential of the Constitution


Zoom: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/86016246892

In collaboration with Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) presents a seminar in a series on Women's Rights in Afghanistan. The event will take place at mcgill.zoom.us/j/86016246892


  • Ghizaal Haress, Ombudsperson for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Professor, American University of Afghanistan.
  • Palwasha L. Kakar, Interim Director, Religion and Inclusive Societies program, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).
  • Hamid M. Saboory, Constitutional Expert and Human Rights Advocate.

With remarks by Professor Homa Hoodfar (Concordia), and moderated by Professor Vrinda Narain (McGill Law).

Ghizaal Haress is currently the Ombudsperson for Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the first woman to ever lead an anti-corruption institution in Afghanistan. The Office of the Ombudsperson is mandated to inspect the allegations of corruption for high governmental officials. Prior to that, she was a Commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, where she, as the only female Commissioner, led the institutions work on constitutional interpretation and developing legal opinions. She is also an Assistant Professor of Law at the American University of Afghanistan. A constitutional lawyer, Ghizaal has written many articles on the Constitution of Afghanistan. She has earned her LLM from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an LLB from Kabul University.

Palwasha L. Kakar is the Interim Director of the Religion and Inclusive Societies program at U.S. Institute of Peace. Kakar joined USIP after four years with The Asia Foundation where she was the Afghanistan director for Women’s Empowerment and Development. Prior to joining the Foundation, she led the Gender Mainstreaming and Civil Society Unit in the United Nation Development Program's Afghanistan Subnational Governance Program managing a small grants program for Afghanistan's civil society initiatives. Kakar also served as program manager for The Gender Studies Institute at Kabul University. She has experience working with the World Bank Group on gender, social justice and environmental issues surrounding their various projects in the region. Kakar moved to Afghanistan 2004 to work with the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), an independent research organization, on women's participation at the local levels in the National Solidarity Program (NSP). Before moving to Afghanistan, she was the director of the Newton Peace Center (currently Peace Connections) a faith-based civil society organization. An Afghan-American, she has experience teaching and researching religion, gender, security and local governance. Kakar has published research regarding women’s participation in local governance, Pashtunwali-Afghan customary law, Afghan women's identity, and social spaces in Afghanistan. Her research has taken her to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Syria. She earned a Master's degree focusing on gender, politics and religion from Harvard University’s Divinity School and a Bachelor's degree in Religion and Global Studies focusing on peace and conflict from Bethel College in North Newton, KS.

Hamid M. Saboory is an independent constitutional law researcher. Formerly, he was a visiting lecturer of Constitutional and International Law at Kardan University where he previously served as the Dean of the Law Faculty. Prior to this, Mr. Saboory served as a Country Director for the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development, a Canadian NGO, and as an Acting Director of Strategic Communication in the Office of the National Security Council of Afghanistan. He has also worked for various organizations such as METIS Solutions, a Washington-based private company, the Harvard Program for Conflict Research, the International Development Law Organization, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and Private International Law (MPI-Hamburg), and the Bar Human Rights Commission of England and Wales. A regular contributor to Foreign Policy, The Diplomat and the Huffington Post, he writes about regional, political, security, and strategic issues. Mr. Saboory holds a BA in Law from Kabul University (2002), a MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University (2009) and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University (2009).

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