Saturday 9 March 2024


Saturday 9 March 2024


Doors Open: 5pm
Exhibition & Screening: 5pm - 6pm
Talks & Music Starts: 6pm
End Time: 8:30pm


Band C: £20
Band B: £25
Band A: £30

Age Guidance



Town Hall Talks

Assembly Hall
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On International Women’s Day 2024, a British Parliamentary Report, led by Baroness Kennedy KC, unveils the parallels between the structural gendered injustice in Iran and Afghanistan.

Join women and community leaders, artists and activists for this enlightening and important debate defining and defying Gender Apartheid in these nations, dedicated to empowering voices across the world.

Baroness Kennedy KC will be joined on stage by Jude Kelly CBE, Madeleine Rees, Negin Shiraghaei and Horia Mosadiq to discuss the findings of the Inquiry, alongside a panel of experts from Afghanistan and Iran. The evening will also feature art and music celebrating the resistance of women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Gender Apartheid, distinct from South Africa’s racial apartheid under international law, is a term advocated by women in Afghanistan and Iran, along with global activists. They highlight parallels between the segregation faced by women in Afghanistan and Iran and the historical racial segregation in South Africa.

The Panelists:

  • Jude Kelly CBE, is the CEO and Founder of The WOW Foundation, a global organization dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women and girls and addressing gender injustice. Formerly the Artistic Director of London's Southbank Centre, Jude has directed over 200 theatre and opera productions, earning numerous accolades, including Olivier Awards and recognition as one of Women's Hour's 100 most powerful women in the UK. Acknowledged for her services to theatre and the arts, she was awarded an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2015.
  • Madeleine Rees OBE, is a leading British lawyer and current Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Renowned for her expertise in discrimination law, she has litigated cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court in Luxembourg, notably advocating for women's rights and legal protections. Rees served as Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998, focusing on crucial issues such as counter-trafficking, gender equality in post-conflict settings, and transitional justice.
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, one of Britain's most distinguished lawyers has spent her professional life giving voice to those who have least power within the system, championing civil liberties and promoting human rights. She is a peer member of the House of Lords. In January 2024 Baroness Kennedy, the director of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and a group of British Parliamentarians, launched an inquiry into the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan and Iran, the Gender Apartheid Inquiry.
  • Horia Musadiq, is an Afghan human rights activist and a former journalist who was one of the first people to use “Gender Apartheid” to describe the women’s rights abuse in Afghanistan. Horia's resilience and unwavering commitment earned her the Afghanistan Simurgh Human Rights Award in 2015, recognizing her exceptional contributions to the pursuit of truth and justice despite countless threats and challenges.
  • Negin Shiraghaei, the founder of Azadi Network, has committed her life to empowering and amplifying the voices of many communities in Iran. She once served as a news anchor for BBC Persian, a position that put her family in Iran in danger. As a champion of human rights, Negin has brought her cause to a global audience, speaking before the UN Human Rights Council twice in particular

Musicians Performing in this event:

  • Elaha Soroor, is a UK-based vocalist and composer from Afghanistan, seamlessly blends traditional Afghan music with contemporary global sounds. She gained national recognition through "Afghan Star" in 2008. After moving to the UK as a refugee in 2012, her collaboration with Kefaya on "Songs Of Our Mothers" received acclaim, earning awards like the Songlines Music Award for Best Group in 2020 and the Songlines Magazine Newcomer Award in 2021.
  • Niaz Nawab, is a highly skilled and versatile musician, singer, songwriter, composer, and music teacher originally from Tehran, Iran, now residing in Paris, France. Notable highlights include participation in events like "Let Her Sing® 2022" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and collaborations with artists like Erwin Khachikian & KARMANDAN and Eldfesten in Sweden. Her contributions extend to orchestras, choirs, and festivals.

Art Exhibition and Screening: Showcasing art pieces from a selection of artists from Iran

This event is supported by WOW, VAAK Records and ArtStage.

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