Shabana Azmi addresses global summit on women's abuse in Afghanistan

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 11 (IANS) Ignoring her family's concern for her safety, Bollywood actress Shabana Azmi visited Afghanistan this week on an invitation by the UN to be the main speaker at a global summit to address the issue of violence against women.

Shabana left for Kabul Tuesday night although her family, including husband Javed Akhtar, expressed fear for her safety in the war ravaged country.

"Danger is fun," the actress said before departing.

A champion of women's rights, Shabana has represented India on several international platforms but she felt this honour in a country known to repress women was of special importance.

"The subject was 'Silence Is Violence - End The Abuse Of Women In Afghanistan'. It was supported by a report by the Human Rights wing of the UN and the Human Rights Commission in Kabul," the actress said.

"The conference discussed the findings on how women are treated in Afghanistan. We talked about ways to strengthen law enforcement and judicial institutions to curb violence against women," she added.

Recalling an earlier trip to Kabul, Shabana said: "I had gone to Kabul as part of a Bollywood delegation headed by Sunil Dutt Saab during president Najibullah's regime. He hosted a dinner for us where he sang the Mukesh number 'Mujhhe tumse kuch bhi na chahiye'. Jadoo (Javed Akhtar) joked with him and asked whether he was singing it for the Russians!"

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