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Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

Kimberley Motley is a lawyer. She is the first foreign attorney to set up a practice in Afghanistan. She left the United States in 2008, intending just to work there for a year, but when she saw the atrocious conditions in an Afghan prison she decided to offer her legal services to foreigners imprisoned in the country and, later, to Afghans. 

One important case she handled concerns a 6-year-old girl. Motley described the circumstances to NPR (National Public Radio) in 2013. The girl’s father owed a man some money he couldn’t repay. A local informal court of elders and religious leaders discussed the situation and ruled that the father should give his daughter to the man in payment of his debt. When she was notified of this situation, Motley was able to attend a second court proceeding. She managed to broker an agreement for the payment of the debt, so the daughter was able to stay in her family.

Motley is actively engaged in defending the rule of law. During her conversation with NPR, she said, “There’s such a need for justice, and such a need for good attorneys. I’ve been able, to a certain extent, to change some of the laws or some of the thinking within in the justice system. And those are things that really propel me to continue on in Afghanistan.” 

Hear Motley talk on TED about how she defends the rule of law.

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