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Tag Archive | "Human Rights"

Mahnaz Afkhami’s Remarkable Contribution to Women’s Progress

Friday, November 3, 2006

Iran Dokht / By Pari Esfandiari My path has crossed that of many extraordinary women in Iran, in the Middle East region, as well as around the world. I hope to be sharing the experience of being part of the women’s movement at the local and global level for over thirty years and reflect [in my memoirs] upon the way women learn from each other and work together and the challenges and opportunities they face in the troubled times in which we live.

Fighting the Good Fight for Women’s Lives

Saturday, September 9, 2006

NPR “All Things Considered” / By Jacki Lyden / Listen Delegates from developing countries, many from Islamic nations, met in Washington, DC to compare notes on the struggle to advance women’s rights. “Any sort of progress toward modernism, toward what we consider egalitarian societies, involves the basic structure of the family,” Afkhami says. “All the arguments for backwardness and fundamentalism really focuses on women.”

Justice, Pluralism, and Participation

Sunday, April 2, 2006

World Movement for Democracy Discussing women’s democratic participation from the perspective of culture, Mahnaz Afkhami happily acknowledged a new consciousness that women should be involved in decision making. She argued that over time scientific progress has reshaped the roles of individuals, families, and communities, and that a new, equally rational, system must be designed to address economic and political matters. She said that societies need to develop a shared vision in the struggle for change.

Reforming Islamic Family Law

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs / By Emily Weedon “Family law”, explained Mahnaz Afkhami at a panel on the role of women in Muslim-majority countries, “is an envelope in which all aspects of a woman’s life” takes place. She discussed the West’s difficulty in both understanding and approaching the issue of family law within Islamic culture.

Women and Democracy: Democratizing the Middle East?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University / Listen Autonomous grassroots organizations in different Muslim-majority countries have partnered to create a Guide to Family Law in the Maghreb. They are also campaigning for more egalitarian family laws in their societies.

AWID Forum Examines Advances for Women, Focuses on Muslim Societies

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Radio Farda / By Fatemeh Aman and Bill Samii Afkhami expressed optimism about advances for women since the United Nations held its last major conference on women’s issues in Beijing in 1995. Their political participation around the world has increased, she said, and is codified in 70 percent of the world. Such codification includes mandatory quotas for female candidates imposed on political parties and the setting aside of specific numbers of legislative seats for women, she said.

Forum Examines Advances for Women, Focuses on Muslim Societies

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty / By Fatemeh Aman and Bill Samii Some 2,000 women’s rights activists gathered in Bangkok on 27-30 October for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development’s (AWID) 10th international forum. Mahnaz Afkhami, a member of the international advisory committee, shed light on the AWID event. “This conference is bringing the conceptual to the pragmatic level .”

Women’s Conference Sees Progress On Rights Overshadowed By Violence

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty/ By Robert McMahon Delegates at the United Nations have begun a review of the efforts to improve women’s rights 10 years after a Beijing conference set out goals for achieving global equality for women. Women’s Learning Partnership organized a symposium focusing on violence against women. The organization’s president, Mahnaz Afkhami, tells RFE/RL of progress in women’s skill-building and educational possibilities as well as persistent problems, including the resurgence of extremism that has been using religion and culture in order to change the balance of power even further in favor of men.

Feminists vs. Fundamentalists

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Women 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

In 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.

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 – Human Rights

"We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish that is used to maintain some economic, social, or simply psychological privilege?" - A Vision of Gender in Culture

"Women's status in society has become the standard by which humanity's progress toward civility and peace can be measured." - Architects for Peace

"The crass infringement of women's rights we see in the Muslim world has more to do with power, patriarchy, and misuse of religion as political weapon than with religion properly understood as individual faith." - Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women's Human Rights

"Rights and empowerment are interconnected: unless a substantial number of women in a community come to believe that they have rights and demand to exercise them, right remains an abstraction." - Faith and Freedom