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“Mahnaz Afkhami: A Memoir”: Book Review

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

“Mahnaz Afkhami: A Memoir” Reviewed by Janet Afary Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies Afkhami, Gholam Reza, Ed., Jame’eh, Dowlat, va Jonbech-i Zanun-e Iran, 1357-1342: Mosahebeh ba Mahnaz Afkhami [Women, State, and Society in Iran 1963-1978: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami] Bethesda: Foundation for Iranian Studies, 2003. Pp. IXX + 278. Mahnaz Afkhami’s memoir, which […]

Women, State, and Society in Iran, 1963-1978

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

WomenStateSocietyPERInterview with Mahnaz Afkhami, secretary general of Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI), 1970-1978, and Iran’s minister of women’s affairs, 1975-1978.
2003 / Foundation for Iranian Studies / Bethesda, MD
Gholam Reza Afkhami, ed.

Iranian women gained significant rights and became considerably more active and effective socially, politically, and economically between 1963 and 1978. Mahnaz Afkhami was secretary general of the Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI), 1970-1978, and Iran’s minister of women’s affairs, 1975-1978. In this book she discusses how women propelled the progress they made in Iran’s patriarchal society, how the government’s worldview, politics, and policies affected their progress, and how relevant to their cause was their presence on the international scene and…

Toward A Compassionate Society

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

compassionatesociety2002 / Women’s Learning Partnership / Bethesda, MD
Introduction available online

Towards a Compassionate Society is an anthology focusing on women’s roles in conflict resolution, peace building, and democracy in a culturally and politically diverse world. It addresses the importance of cultural pluralism and women’s role in promoting…

Toward A Compassionate Society: Introduction

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

compassionatesocietyWe achieved an incredible capacity for doing good or evil in the past hundred years. How do we go from here to a compassionate society? Will the society of tomorrow be anything like our idea of what a caring society should be– a society based on fairness, equity, help to the needy, community, family, an ethical system that stresses the value of the “other?” In a world of instant communication and interconnection, in a world of diverse cultures and standards, how do we uphold common values and how do we live those values? Is a compassionate society possible if we barricade ourselves in or others out by erecting economic, political, psychological, or moral walls that in simple language translate as jails, ghettos, borders, and institutional discrimination? Can a compassionate society be constructed on the notion of exclusivity? If not, how is it possible to overcome the odds?

Leading to Choices: Leadership as Communicative Learning

Sunday, July 1, 2001

Leading to ChoicesMost of us live in societies that are hierarchically organized and command-oriented. The structure of command nurtures and is nurtured by a culture of obedience that at once sustains and camouflages a pecking order by producing a system of authority. Rather, we look to a different kind of society where men and women turn to one another not as objects in social functions, where one commands and the other obeys, but as genuine communicating beings. We look at leadership in a learning society as a means of nurturing genuine beings who look to one another for community and meaning. A major function of this handbook is to invite us to look attentively and creatively at leadership as learning and the possibilities the concept produces for women. This concept of leadership in relation to learning is weaved into our sessions throughout the handbook.

Leading to Choices:

Monday, January 1, 2001

A Leadership Training Handbook for Women
Leading to Choices2001 / Women’s Learning Partnership / Bethesda, MD

Co-authored; Published in 17 languages; available online.
Leading to Choices is based on a conceptualization of leadership as horizontal, inclusive, and participatory. The handbook includes a flexible curriculum that may be adapted and customized to suit the diverse cultural, political and socio-economic needs of women and men around the world. At the heart of each workshop session is a case study or scenario depicting…

Safe and Secure:

Thursday, January 1, 1998

Eliminating Violence Against Women in Muslim Societies
safeandsecure1998 / Sisterhood Is Global Institute / Bethesda, MD

Co-authored; Published in Arabic, English, French, and Persian

Safe and Secure is a training manual to assist women in Muslim societies to identify sources of violence in the family, community, society and state, to communicate this information, and to influence governments…

Muslim Women and The Politics of Participation:

Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Implementing the Beijing Platform
politicsparticipation1997 / Syracure University Press / Syracuse, NY

Co-edited with Erika Friedl; introduction available online.

Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation is about ways of promoting women’s participation in the affairs of Muslim societies: from raising consciousness and changing codes of law to penetrating the economic markets and influencing national and international policies. This collection of essays by activists and politicians challenges stereotypes about Muslim women and …

Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation: Introduction

Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Muslim Women and The Politics of ParticipationAfter the Beijing conference, concern with women’s rights and the advancement of women shifted from debating and formulating policies to finding practical ways to transform plans and commitments into action. To this end, Sisterhood Is Global Institute called a conference, Beijing and Beyond: Implementing the Platform for Action in Muslim Societies, focusing on political decision making and leadership. The enthusiastic response to the conference and many inquiries about it prompted the creation of this book. To the best of the authors’ knowledge this is the first book devoted entirely to the discussion of these problems, of the ways, means, and possibilities for the implementation of the Platform for Action in Muslim societies.

Exiles, Immigrants and Refugees: Women Making Choices

Monday, April 1, 1996

Book review by Ivette Valdés In Feminist Collections, A Quarterly of Women’s Studies Resources, Volume 17, Nos. 3-4, Spring/Summer 1996 Mahnaz Afkhami, WOMEN IN EXILE. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1994. 210p. $35, ISBN 0-8139-1542-2; pap., $12.95, ISBN 0-8139-1543-0. Jill M. Bystydzienski and Estelle P. Resnik, eds., WOMEN IN CROSS-CULTURAL TRANSITIONS. Bloomington, IN: Phi […]

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

Books Display

Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for WomenWomen State & SocietyToward A Compassionate SocietyLeading to ChoicesSafe and SecureMuslim Women and the Politics of ParticipationClaiming Our RightsFaith and FreedomWomen and the Law in IranWomen in ExileIn the Eye of the Storm coverWomen in Exile (Spanish version)Women in Exile (Turkish version)IRANHandbookENGLeading To Choices Multimedia Pack
"The conditions women have in common outrank and outvalue those that set them apart." - Faith and Freedom

"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

"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

"We must be bold and creative, our feet firmly grounded in the realities that surround us, but our gaze aimed at the lofty possibilities that our advancements in science and technology promise and that our growth as a global society is only beginning to comprehend." - Toward A Compassionate Society
“A manual that, unlike traditional human rights law, reconceives rights as also relevant in religious and cultural spheres, not just in the public sphere.” – Claiming Our Rights, Madhavi Sunder, The Yale Law Journal

“A gripping combination of serious scholarship and popularising” – Faith and Freedom, MESA Bulletin

“A sad, lovely, horrifying, heroic book.”– Women In Exile, Women’s Review of Books