European Parliament to host “Afghan Women Days” 

Press Releases 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Parliament will organise a series of events to shine a light on the dire situation faced by women in Afghanistan.

Parliament’s “Afghan Women Days” will kick off with a high-level conference on 1 February. This event will gather MEPs, prominent Afghan women who were finalists for Parliament’s 2021 Sakharov Prize, Commission and United Nations representatives as well as representatives of other international organisations, to address and cast light on the extremely worrying situation for women in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power last year.

WHEN: Tuesday 1 February (high level conference and side events) and Wednesday 2 February 2022 (side events).

WHERE: Parliament’s hemicycle in Brussels and room 3G3 in the Spinelli building. More information on other venues is available in the programme linked below.

The conference will feature interventions by Parliament President Roberta Metsola, former Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs Sima Samar, Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR - recorded message) and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (recorded message). It will be concluded with an address and musical appearance by Afghan singer and songwriter Aryana Sayeed, with her song “Lady of the Land of Fire”.

“Afghan Women Days”: several workshops and side events

In addition to the conference, there will be a series of workshops organised on Tuesday and Wednesday with a broad range of participants to discuss specific issues related to Afghanistan, such as future perspectives for women in the country, and how to support women activists in exile and women parliamentarians. The “Afghan Women Days” will also feature an event with testimonies coming from Afghanistan, the screening of “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha”, by Afghan film-maker Sahraa Karimi, and a youth seminar.

Here is the full two-day programme with more information on the high-level event, including on workshops and schedule.


Journalists who would like to interview one of the Afghan representatives and 2021 Sakharov Prize finalists on Tuesday or Wednesday could express their interest in doing so by sending an email to and by Monday 31 January at 12.00.

The representatives available for interviews in English are:

  • Sima Samar - human rights advocate, former Minister of Women’s Affairs and former chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission;
  • Shaharzad Akbar - chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC);
  • Zarifa Ghafari - mayor of Maidan Shar since 2018;
  • Sarah Karimi - first female president of the Afghan state film company;
  • Horia Mossadiq - human and women's rights activist;
  • Habiba Sarabi - member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan;
  • Aryana Sayeed - singer and women’s rights activist.

You can follow live the conference and all activities related to the “Afghan Women Days” via the Parliament’s Multimedia Centre.

You can read more about the Afghan women who were finalists for the European Parliament’s 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought here.