Prominent human rights advocates will speak at BU for International Women’s Day

This article is over 7 years old.

Two renowned advocates for human rights will be at Brandon University (BU) for a community talk on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, to mark International Women’s Day.

Dr. Sima Samar and Professor Marilou McPhedran will speak at BU’s John E. Robbins Library to give a presentation discussing “Canadian and International Gender Equality.” The talk is the result of a partnership between BU, the Shilo Military Family Resource Centre and Canadian Forces Base Shilo.

Born in Afghanistan, Samar served as a vice-president under Hamid Karzai and is now chairing that country’s first Human Rights Commission. McPhedran, born and raised in Neepawa, was named a Member of the Order of Canada for her leadership on equality rights in the Canadian Constitution, and has presented on human rights to the United Nations. She now directs the Institute for International Women’s Rights and teaches in Winnipeg.

The two women are well-acquainted and longtime friends who look forward to presenting together on International Women’s Day.

“International Women’s Day is an important day to mark at Brandon University. All around the world, communities have carved out this day since 1975 to celebrate the power, resilience, and ingenuity of women,” said Dr. Corinne Mason, coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies program at BU. “Opening up a possibility for dialogue about women’s lived experiences is essential, and there is a real benefit to hearing and learning about women’s experiences transnationally.”

Earlier in the day, Samar and McPhedran will be at CFB Shilo to speak to soldiers, employees and families there.

“When I first met Sima Samar and Marilou McPhedran in Afghanistan in 2004 I was deeply impressed. These women are world renowned for their advocacy for women’s rights and I knew they would offer something of immense value to our community. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring them to Shilo and Brandon.” said CFB Shilo Base Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel John Cochrane.

All are invited to the free BU event, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the gathering space of the university library.


To receive any BU publication in an alternate format please contact

About BU

Success is built at Brandon University. Our growing, progressive campus welcomes a diverse and inclusive community that combines proud tradition with shared ambition. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Join us at