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Early Inspiration

Wed, Dec 31, 1980

Biography

Mahnaz was born in 1941 in Kerman, Iran to a traditional family. When she was eleven, her mother, an independent-minded woman, separated from her father and later left Iran for the United States and worked her way through college. Mahnaz followed her mother’s example and worked various jobs, including as a sales clerk at a dime store to finance her education.

By the age of seventeen she had joined a trade union and challenged successfully a breach of her rights when her employer laid her off temporarily and rehired her in order to avoid paying for her earned vacation. The experience strengthened her belief in the importance of speaking up for one’s rights, accepting the possible consequences, and working in solidarity with others.

Read on: A Season of Change

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more