Mike Gapes is supporting an international campaign to press for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
Mike took part in an event in Parliament on Wednesday 23 November which saw a cross-party group of MPs and peers having their photograph taken in front of hundreds of handmade kites designed by campaigners from around the country to symbolise their support for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
The campaign - led by ActionAid UK, Amnesty International UK, CARE UK, GAPS, Womankind Worldwide and Women for Women International - has seen 18,000 campaigners petition the UK government to support Afghan women’s rights, with more than 8,000 kites designed.
Campaigners are using the kite symbol because in Afghanistan women and girls make kites but are effectively prevented from actually flying them because of cultural attitudes that make it socially unacceptable.
Mike Gapes said:
"This is an important campaign which I’m very pleased to support. If the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan are not front and centre of peace negotiations, it will be an absolute tragedy.
I will be following up on this issue with the Foreign Secretary William Hague at the earliest opportunity."