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Iranian Voices: A Seminar About Iran and Human Rights (in English and Swedish)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Iranian Voices: A Seminar About Iran and Human Rights (in English and Swedish)

The Arabic spring is considered as the starting point of a new era in the Arabic world’s history. From Iran, however, it’s been very quite. The demonstrations were hushed up successfully and today pro-democracy movement appears underground. Come and meet human rights activists from Iran in the areas of LGBT, women’s rights and ethnic / religious minorities. Afkhami speaks on the role of technology in movement building for women globally.

Fighting for Women’s Rights: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fighting for Women’s Rights: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami

It is now almost 40 years that Mahnaz Afkhami has been fighting for women’s rights and against all sorts of gender apartheid…Did all of the achievements (that she worked for) vanish overnight in 1979 when the mullahs took over? Afkhami believes that the movement never stopped and says, “The green movement in Iran is the continuation of what had been started nearly a century before…”

Revolution and Women’s Rights in the Arab World

Friday, November 4, 2011

Revolution and Women’s Rights in the Arab World

Women in Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia are facing a dangerous moment, says Mahnaz Afkhami. Those who have networks, resources, and a clear, concise and appealing public message are the conservative and conservative-religious forces.

It is a moment of urgency for women to be able to catch up in time while the fundamental structures underlying these countries’ democratic development are being put in place.

Unfortunately, women are not present in these consults: they have not been included in these consults in most places.

In the New Tunisia, Women’s Rights Are in Play

Friday, November 4, 2011

In the New Tunisia, Women’s Rights Are in Play

Mahnaz Afkhami knows how tenuous women’s rights can be and how fragile gains in status too often are. “Women’s rights and democracy activists are seriously concerned that the [Ennahda] party will act differently once in power.”

She saw a generation of advances rolled back in a short time in Iran, and testified this week about the role and potential of women in the Arab spring before a Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee on democracy, human rights and women’s issues.

“Egypt and Tunisia are prime examples of countries where progress towards women’s equality may be undone without America’s firm and increased commitment,” Afkhami told the senators.

Women Could Promote Rights Through Islam

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Despite the perception that strict Islamic law and feminism are incompatible, women’s rights advocates argued (at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Submcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues’s hearing) that Muslim values could actually help women of the Arab Spring promote greater equality. Mahnaz Afkhami cautioned that while some Islamic countries have provided a more positive outlook, other examples, like Iran, give women reasons to worry.

Mahnaz Afkhami Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing “Women and the Arab Spring”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mahnaz Afkhami Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing “Women and the Arab Spring”

“The grim truth is that women who are struggling to advance human rights and create secular, pluralistic, democratic societies, face grave challenges rooted in tradition and history. Traditional social and cultural norms have relegated Middle Eastern women and girls to a private space, and they often lack the social, economic, and political power they need to overcome antagonistic groups and regressive policy,” Afkhami stated as a witness testifying at the hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operation and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues and Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Central Asia Affairs spotlighting Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.”

Internet and democratic change – Net activism, empowerment and emancipation – Sida conference

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Internet and democratic change – Net activism, empowerment and emancipation – Sida conference

“New media” has overtaken the international pages of daily newspapers. Twitter is now a portal not only to the latest from publications in Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, and Brazil – it is the opening to the latest from NGOs, activists, financial institutions, and other actors. Rather than waiting for hours for a US publication to […]

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

Mahnaz Afkhami spoke on Revolutionary Game-Changers: The Middle East at the Fortune Summit. The Summit is the world’s premiere gathering of women leaders in business, government, academia, philanthropy, and the arts. Each fall, a select group comes together to exchange big ideas and learn. The program — no speeches! — is diverse and designed to […]

POMED Wire: Women and Democratic Transition in the Middle East

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

POMED Wire: Women and Democratic Transition in the Middle East

Mahnaz Afkhami noted that women have largely been left out of the post-demonstration process despite playing a large role in the protests. She drew on lessons garnered from the Iranian Revolution in 1979 by noting that rhetoric of new leaders can quickly change, and that Arab societies must be prepared for such actions.

Arab Awakening Offers Women Opportunities, Challenges

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

allAfrica.com

Mahnaz Afkhami stressed the importance of distinguishing the “revolutionary moment” from the slow process of building a democracy.

The founder and president of Women’s Learning Partnership, which sponsored the event, recalled the promises made to women in the Iranian revolution of 1979.

“Khomeini said women were free in everything, including clothing,” she said. Following the revolution, those supporting women’s rights were declared enemies of Islam. “Beware of people who want to put off addressing the situation of women,” Afkhami warned women in countries transitioning to democracy.

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