Mahnaz Afkhami Speaks at Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Tue, Nov 1, 2016


Chicago Council Election 2016 Event









Photo: Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Watch the event via livestream

Mahnaz Afkhami spoke at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs on November 1, 2016 in Chicago.

Title: Election 2016 and the Global Women’s Movement


Chicago Council on Global Affairs Conference Center
130 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601


A growing body of evidence demonstrates that improvements in the status of women and girls also drive the prosperity and security of families, communities, and nations. In recent years the US government has incorporated gender equality as a metric of policy development and program investment of its domestic and foreign policies. Yet despite many indicators of progress for women and girls everywhere more work remains, and strong collaborations are still needed in areas regarding women’s economic and political leadership, eliminating violence against women and girls, and supporting women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. As the US prepares for new governance what would a change in leadership mean for women’s rights, domestically and internationally? And how can we best continue to provide US leadership to women’s issues in the next twenty years?

Copies of the new book Women and Girls Rising: Progress and Resistance Around the World featuring contributing experts including Mahnaz Afkhami will be available for sale and signing after the program.


Mahnaz Afkhami, Founder and President, Women’s Learning Partnership

Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Ellen Chesler, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute

Fay Hartog Levin, Moderator, Distinguished Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs


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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 – Iran Women’s Movement

"Now, when I look back [on the work of the WOI], it seems to me that our main mistake was not that we did not do other things which we should have done. Our main mistake was that we created conditions in which the contradictions related to modernity, progress, equality, and human rights, especially women’s rights, increased and the reaction to our work put perhaps too much pressure on the country’s social fabric." - Fate of the family protection law

"Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign for the Reform of Discriminatory Laws is an extraordinary phenomenon. It is democratic, nonhierarchical, open, and evolving in a polity that is none of those things." - Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story, Foreword

At the time of her execution, [Ms. Parsay] wrote one of the most moving letters to her children. And in that she expressed the same courage and the same steadfast belief in her principles that she had followed all of her life. And that was that: I’m a doctor. I know what it means to die, that takes only a minute. I’m not afraid of that. What I’m afraid of is to be pressured into denying 50 years of service to women. - Executed But Not Forgotten

“Prostitution was the code word for activism during the early part of the revolution” - I Was Iran's Last Woman Minister

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

Quotables – Political Participation

"Quotas are a good starting point. But they are not the end-goal." - Mauritania Moves Toward Political Empowerment of Women

"Women’s representation in political life worldwide is less than 14 per cent" - Women's Conference Opens in Jordan

"Activism women realize that awareness of rights is the first step in gaining a political voice and the political power to gain rights." - Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation