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Women, Rights, and Security in Iran

Sunday, September 14, 2008

faith (cc) Malu Green!In Der Tagesspiegel
Women in Iran must be free to choose what to think, what to say, what to do, and, of course, how to relate, or not to relate, to God, writes Mahnaz Afkhami. This cannot be had if government and religion are one.

Information and Communication Technologies for Women’s Empowerment and Social Change

Saturday, March 1, 2008

mitoo_standingForeword to Making IT Our Own: Information and Communication Technology Training of Trainers Manual
Modern information technology has the potential to empower women in ways unprecedented in the social and cultural evolution of human history. It is incumbent on us to help prepare women across the world to harness it for changing not only their own lives but also the world for the better. Making IT Our Own: Information & Communication Technology Training of Trainers Manual is an extension of our efforts to empower women to harness ICTs. It is our attempt to shift the ownership of the tools of information technology from the few to the many in a variety of cultures, in the hope that while we are coping with the exigencies…

Feminists vs. Fundamentalists

Saturday, January 1, 2005

GlobalizingWomenTransnationalFeministNetworksWomen Living Under Muslim Law and Sisterhood Is Global Institute
In Globalizing Women : Transnational Feminist Networks/ Valentine M. Moghadam (ed.)

This chapter examines two Transnational Feminist Networks (TFNs)–Women Living under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and the Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI), as well as a newer TFN that operates in the Muslim world: the Women’s Learning Partnership for Peace, Development, and Rights (WLP). These TFNs call for the advancement, equality, and human rights of women in the Muslim world, and urge governments to implement the UN-sponsored Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, along with the Beijing Platform for Action. As advocates of democratization, civil society, and women’s rights, they are fierce opponents of fundamentalism, and have taken positions against those versions of cultural relativism and multiculturalism that undermine women’s equality and autonomy in the name of respect for cultural or religious traditions. They also have paid special attention to the violations of women’s human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Algeria, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Nigeria.

Rights of Passage: Women Shaping the 21st Century

Thursday, July 1, 2004

hopscotch (cc) Merry~BluesIn The Future of Women’s Rights: Global Visions & Strategies / Joanna Kerr, Ellen Sprenger, and Alison Symington (eds.)
In the last quarter of the 20th century we witnessed a blossoming of women’s movements. Across the world women are now active in unprecedented numbers, conscious of the need to be involved in the decisions that affect their future. We must insist that the rights of women are rooted in history rather than culture. We must take a new look at the structure of human relations broadly defined, and achieve a balance between the sexes not only in the public arena but also at the level of family. We must change the systemic tendency of globalization by infusing it with feminist ideals. And women everywhere must help women everywhere to become leaders. Then as we negotiate our passage into the new century, our movements will be the force that shapes the future.

Reflections on Women’s Security in Iran

Sunday, May 30, 2004

burnt woman (cc) B. SandmanIn Gozaar: A Forum on Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
If human beings, including Iranian women, are to be free, which is an essential prerequisite of their security, they must be in a position to choose freely what to think, what to say, what to do, and, of course, how to relate, or not to relate, to God. This cannot be had if government and religion are one.

Searching for the Sources of the Self

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

womansuitcase (cc) extranoiseIn The Scholar and Feminist Online
The sudden loss of identity started me on a search for the sources of my “self”. This journey was to take me to a deeper layer of feelings, thoughts, and experiences that I had not known before, and on which, now, I was to build a new identity.

Human Security: A Conversation

Friday, November 1, 2002

HumanSecurityAConversationIn Social Research
Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace organized a conversation to map out an approach to a definition of the concept of human security. The participants discussed the concept of human security in order to identify the parameters as well as the limits of the traditional definition of human security, and to broaden it to encompass a wider spectrum of both human material and spiritual needs. They agreed to base their discussion on a value system that puts people’s welfare at, the center; emphasizes power sharing at all levels; and promotes an economic framework that encourages sustainable development, social justice, human rights, gender equality; and democracy. The conversation is a prelude to organizing a policy action group on human security with the support of the WLP and the Commission on Globalization.

Death of the Patriarch

Monday, July 1, 2002

RememberingChildhoodInTheMiddleEastIn Remembering Childhood in the Middle East: Memoirs from a Century of Change
Powerful as my grandfather was, he was overshadowed by the status and authority of my grandmother, who was a Qajar princess. I knew that Grandfather was sick. That particular afternoon, the doctor walked into the room and didn’t come out for a long time. Then, suddenly, my mother rushed out. She took my hand and told me that in a hushed voice that my grandfather wanted to see me. He looked at me with gray, watery eyes and patted my head and said something I couldn’t understand. That night, Grandfather died and the whole household was flung into a new era.

Epilogue: Our Shared Human Values

Monday, April 1, 2002

Epilogue Our Shared Human ValuesIn To Mend the World: Women Reflect on 9/11
We seem to have passed the era of absolutes. We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national, and local diversities that enrich our lives. To achieve this blessing, however, we must assess our present situation realistically, assign moral and practical responsibility to individuals, communities, and countries commensurate with their objective ability and, most importantly, subordinate power in all its manifestations to our shared human values.

The Women’s Organization of Iran: Evolutionary Politics and Revolutionary Change

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

EvolutionaryPoliticsRevolutionaryChangeIn Women in Iran From the Rise of Islam to the Islamic Republic / Lois Beck and Guity Nashat (eds.) / 2002
This article is an account of the women’s movement in pre-revolutionary Iran. The focus is on the activities of the Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI) and its interactions with the government, the court, the clergy, and other conservative forces during the two decades preceding the Islamic revolution. Much of the article, particularly where the story of WOI is concerned, is based on the author’s personal knowledge and experience as WOI’s secretary general between 1970 and 1978.

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