Essay for Shirin Neshat Exhibit: Sunlight, Open Windows and Fresh Air: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Iran

“Iranian women have learned to resist peacefully when they can, aggressively when forced–but they never give up,” writes Afkhami in her new essay “Open Windows and Fresh Air: The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Iran” which is included in catalogue for the Shirin Neshat: Facing History exhibit which opened in May 2015 at The Hirshhorn Museum.

Democracy Courage Tribute Acceptance Speech on Behalf of the Iranian Women’s Movement

Persian text
Whether in exile in refugee camps, in prisons inside Iran, or working late into the night sending their messages around the country and across the world, women in Iran have not yielded to oppression. Their mobile phones, web sites and blogs carry their words across the nation and throughout the world. Their voice resonates with others who rise up in their support. They are at the forefront of the green movement for change. They know they can change their country and they say “Yes, we will.”

Obama, Ahmadinejad, and the Women of Iran

Anzali Lagoon, North of Iran (cc) Eliza_TasbihiIn the Women’s Learning Partnership blog
This month, for the first time in 30 years, formal negotiations between the United States and Iran took place in a relatively positive atmosphere. As President Obama had promised during his campaign, dialogue took the place of diatribe. This is an important development.

Iranian Women’s Voices

GreenIranianWomenIn The Huffington Post
Iranian Women are bringing new support, dynamism and confidence to the global movement for women’s rights and human rights, by sharing their experiences via the Internet with women in other Muslim societies, and by documenting their years of dialogue, grassroots activism and refusal to be silenced in a new English translation of the book, Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story.

Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story, Foreword

In Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures: Campaign for Equality The Inside Story by Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani / Women’s Learning Partnership Translation Series
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. The campaign brings to mind the image of raindrops falling, forming rivulets, and then converging on an ever-larger scale until they become a river. The genius of the movement lies in its capacity to connect its members’ thoughts and deeds in ways that adapt and change as conditions require. The context is on the one hand the clash between an Iranian civil society with a century-old record of growing sophistication and important roles for women, and on the other an archaic legal…

Freedom Leads to Empowerment

(cc) misterbenthompsonIn International Museum of Women, Economica: Women and the Global Economy
Women’s empowerment is a process, a holistic approach that involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women’s education, their employment, their participation in decision making, and above all, their opportunities for economic independence.

Women are Driving Iran Toward Democracy

Women Vote, photo by TehranLive.orgIn the Women’s Learning Partnership blog
The images from Iran in the last two weeks have stunned the world: hundreds of thousands of women and men marching peacefully, first in support of reformist candidates and later protesting the government’s version of the results. Women played a prominent role at every level in this movement; in fact what unfolded in Iran would not have been possible without them.

Culture, Democracy, and Women’s Human Rights in Muslim Majority Societies

At The American Academy in Berlin / Watch
The most taxing contradiction women leaders in Muslim countries face today is the one between the demands of modernity and the requirements of tradition as determined in advance by the modern Islamist world view. At the center of this conflict is the dilemna of Muslim women’s human rights: whether muslim women have rights because they are human beings or whether they have rights because they are Muslim women.

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