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World NGO Day Forum February 27 & 28, 2014

Tue, Feb 25, 2014

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World NGO Day Forum

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Mahnaz Afkhami, a World NGO Day Goodwill Ambassador, speaks at the World NGO Day Forum February 27 and 28 in Helsinki, Finland.

WLP World NGO Day Goodwill message for 2014:

“In today’s world, science and technology offer endless possibilities, but cannot alone meet humankind’s most pressing challenges. Governments are supposed to serve the people, but may or may not act according to the people’s will. NGOs, however, empower people to demand respect for individual rights, equality, democracy, development, and peace. The strength and solidarity of NGOs across the world will lead to a better future for all.”

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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