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Keira Knightley and stars fight for women's rights

07 MARCH 2014 Keira Knightley, Salma Hayek and Gillian Anderson are among stars who have written to British Prime Minister David Cameron about ensuring female’s rights in Afghanistan are protected, just in time for International Women’s Day.

The actresses acknowledged the occasion which falls on Saturday March 8, by urging the politician to help make a difference to the minimal progress that has been made over the last 12 years in the country. The country is holding presidential elections this year plus troops are being withdrawn. While women are increasing upholding their rights, provisions are being put in place to ensure they aren’t made a negative target.
 

keira knightley amnesty international
Keira Knightley is speaking out for International Women's Day


“It has taken true courage for Afghan women to defy the Taleban, to vote in elections, to work in high-profile jobs, and to send their children to school,” the letter reads. “But Afghan women have told Amnesty International that they are concerned the rights they have fought so hard to achieve could now be lost.”

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Sheen and Joseph Fiennes, plus Grayson Perry, Dave Stewart and Adrian Lester contributed to the collective statement. The celebrities hope to raise awareness of the brutal violence towards Afghan ladies after hearing how different their treatment is compared to many women in the rest of the world.
 

dave stewart amnesty international
Dave Stewart for Amnesty International

“In the last six months, numerous Afghan women committed to working for peace and development have been murdered, including four policewomen, a pregnant school teacher and a local government worker,” the letter continued. “We mustn’t turn our backs on the women and girls of Afghanistan. We ask that you publicly insist on renewed commitments to women’s rights from the new Afghan President when that person is elected.

“As Prime Minister your support sends a very clear message to the Afghan authorities as well as to the brave women working for the future of their country.”

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