Asma Khader

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Asma Khader, a lawyer and human rights activist, is Minister of Culture & Government Spokesperson for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. She is also Coordinator of Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (www.amanjordan.org) and former President of the Jordanian Women’s Union. Ms. Khader is a member of the Arab Lawyer’s Union, the Arab Organization for Human Rights, the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists, and the Advisory Committee of the Women's Division of Human Rights Watch. She was instrumental in creating a Legal Literacy/Legal Assistance program for Jordanian women, as well as establishing the Jordanian Children’s Parliament.

Elected to the Permanent Arab Court as Counsel on violence against women in 1996, she has served as a judge and chairperson of many judicial bodies specializing in fields related to human rights. In 1997, she served as a judge for the public hearings on violence against women held at the Permanent Arab Court To Resist Violence Against Women. In addition, at the request of a number of prominent international and regional human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, she has monitored trials focusing on human rights violations, and has served as chairperson of many human rights fact-finding missions. Ms. Khader maintained a private legal practice for almost twenty years and is a leading advocate of the campaign to strengthen legislation outlawing honor killing.

She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the Jordanian Independence Medal of the First Degree, given in 1991 by King Hussein of Jordan for her role in formulating the Jordanian National Charter. In 1990, Ms. Khader received an Award of Honor from Human Rights Watch for her role in defending human rights.

Ms. Khader received her law degree from the University of Damascus in 1977. She has written and spoken widely on the topics of women, children's rights, and human rights. Her most recent publication is Law and the Future of Palestinian Women (1998). She is married with four children.

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