Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Dr Anarkali Kaur Honaryar is a leading campaigner for the rights of women in Afghanistan. She was chosen in 2009 by Radio Free Europe's Afghan chapter as their "Person of the Year" for her work at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. The award has gone onto make Kaur a household name in Kabul. Dr Honaryar is a trained dentist and is one of about 3,000 Sikhs who remain in Afghanistan. As a child she had dreamed of being a pilot, but soon she recognised that this was going to be impossible in the country in which she lived. Today she presents a radio show and is on the official Constitution Committee. She has been a part of the council that selected the interim government that replaced the Taliban. Dr Honaryar has been on the human rights commission in Afghanistan since 2006 and fights for the rights of women whose culture can go against them. Currently the female literacy rate in Afghanistan is less than 20%, which is something Dr Honaryar wants to change.