REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley is supporting an international campaign to press for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

The MP, who recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, took part in an event in Parliament 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.

Mrs Lumley 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.”

Campaigners are using the kite symbol because in Afghanistan women and girls make kites but are effectively prevented from flying them because of cultural attitudes that make it socially unacceptable.

Mrs Lumley added: “I will be following up on this issue with the Foreign Secretary William Hague at the earliest opportunity.”

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen added: “We’d like to see all Parliamentarians supporting this campaign for women rights in Afghanistan.

“There is a clear and present danger that the rights of Afghan women and girls could be sacrificed in deals with the Taliban as the international community looks for the exit sign in Afghanistan.

“Numerous MPs have been vocal on the subject of Afghan women’s rights during the past decade. Now’s the time for them to stand up and be counted.”

For more information on the campaign or to get involved, visit