World NGO Day eNewsletter: Mahnaz Afkhami Goodwill Ambassador Story

Thu, Nov 14, 2013


By Mahnaz Afkhami
In World NGO Day September 2013 ENewsletter

Across the world, the structures of power that determine women’s unequal status in society are really very similar, in spite of surface differences of style and implementation. We as (WLP) Partnership have decided that the only way we can change these structures is through exchange of experiences and strategies and building solidarity across borders, religions, and cultures.
Over the past several decades, women’s NGOs have worked together across national boundaries and diversities to clarify our purpose, hone our strategies, and create a shared vision for the future we seek. We have strengthened our ability to advocate, bring attention to abuse, propose legislation and policies, and make sure that these laws and policies are used to change the lives of people on the ground.
We’ve come a long way. And there’s still a long way to go. But with the tools and strategies that we have created together – one woman at a time, one organization at a time – we’re getting there.
We know our cause is just. We are committed. We are inspired. We will fight. And we will get our rights.

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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

Quotables – Human Rights

"We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish that is used to maintain some economic, social, or simply psychological privilege?" - A Vision of Gender in Culture

"Women's status in society has become the standard by which humanity's progress toward civility and peace can be measured." - Architects for Peace

"The crass infringement of women's rights we see in the Muslim world has more to do with power, patriarchy, and misuse of religion as political weapon than with religion properly understood as individual faith." - Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women's Human Rights

"Rights and empowerment are interconnected: unless a substantial number of women in a community come to believe that they have rights and demand to exercise them, right remains an abstraction." - Faith and Freedom

Quotables – Movement Building

"The conditions women have in common outrank and outvalue those that set them apart." - Faith and Freedom

“International movement building in the 21st century and involvement of youth in advocacy will be made possible largely through technology" - Engendering IT Tools