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Tag Archive | "Human Rights"

Claiming Our Rights:

Monday, January 1, 1996

A Manual for Women's Human Rights Education in Muslim Societies 1996 / Sisterhood Is Global Institute / Bethesda, MD Co-authored with Haleh Vaziri; Published in Arabic, Azeri, Bangla, English, Hindi, Malay, Persian, Russian, Urdu and Uzbek; Introduction available online. "A manual that, unlike traditional human rights law, reconceives rights as also relevant in religious and cultural spheres, not just in the public sphere." - Madhavi Sunder, The Yale Law Journal It is only when women reclaim their own cultures, interpreting texts and traditions in self-empowering ways, that women may truly claim...

Claiming Our Rights: Introduction

Monday, January 1, 1996

The purpose of this human rights education manual is to facilitate transmission of the universal human rights concepts inscribed in the major international documents to grass roots populations in Muslim societies. The manual seeks to enable grass roots populations to convey universal concepts in association with indigenous ideas, traditions, myths, and texts rendered in local idiom. It aims to empower grassroots women to articulate and demand their human rights through interactive communication at home and through the political process in the community and society.

Resisting Fundamentalisms

Sunday, October 1, 1995

In Canadian Human Rights Foundation Newsletter Fundamentalism is a militant reaction to modernism; fundamentalists are found in all societies and religions. Women have always bore the brunt of the fundamentalist assault, and resisting fundamentalisms is of vital importance to the cause of women's human rights globally. Our solidarity and unity are our greatest weapons in resisting fundamentalisms.

Voice of Conscience: Impassioned Author Lobbies for Rights of Muslim Women

Friday, June 23, 1995

The Jewish Exponent / By Marilyn Silverstein Mahnaz Afkhami shares a certain sisterhood with the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland -- a woman who thought nothing of believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. "To believe the impossible is possible is the first step in making it so," said Afkhami, executive director of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Faith and Freedom:

Sunday, January 1, 1995

Women's Human Rights in the Muslim World 1995 / Syracuse University Press and I.B. Tauris / Edited "A gripping combination of serious scholarship and popularising" - MESA Bulletin Faith and Freedom is the first detailed study to emphasize Muslim women's rights as human rights and to explore the existing patriarchal structures and processes that present women's human rights as contradictory to Islam. Academics and activists, most of whom live in the Muslim world, discuss the major issues facing women of the region as they enter the twenty-first century. They demonstrate how the cultural segregation of women, and the monopoly on the interpretation...

Dilemna of Muslim Women’s Human Rights

Sunday, January 1, 1995

“The most taxing contradiction [Muslim women] face casts the demands of living in the contemporary world against the requirements of tradition as determined and advanced 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 […]

Faith and Freedom: Introduction

Sunday, January 1, 1995

Part I of this two-part volume addresses the patriarchal structures and processes that present women's human rights as contradictory to Islam. It examines how social and cultural segregation of women, contradictory and conflicting legal codes, and the monopoly held by a select group of male theologians on interpretation of religious texts result in domestic and political violence against women and in suppression of their rights. It also focuses on ways and means of empowering Muslim women to participate in the general socialization process as well as in making, implementing, and evaluating public policy. In Part II the book presents concrete examples to demonstrate the kind, nature, and intensity of problems women face in contemporary Muslim societies. The stories generally corroborate Anne Mayer's thesis that Muslim women's predicament is significantly exacerbated by government hypocrisy.

Cutting Edge of the Islamic Revolution

Friday, September 16, 1994

The Washington Post / By Amy E. Schwartz A small women's human rights organization called the Sisterhood Is Global Institute, scheduled a two day conference on "Religion, Culture, and Women's Human Rights in the Muslim World." The event didn't end up being entirely about Cairo, or about Tasmina Nasrin -- a besieged Bangladeshi writer -- either, but both were frequently and passionately invoked by a group that ranged from secular to head-scarved -- and was about triple its projected size. The conference bristled with Muslim women who in recent years have gone back to the texts -- the Koran, the sayings of the prophet, the historical accretion of commentaries and law codes -- the better to argue for rights with conservative clergymen on their own ground.

Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran: A Feminist Perspective

Saturday, January 1, 1994

Chapter 1 of In The Eye of The Storm: Women in Post-revolutionary Iran What is to be understood from this brief history? First, traditional societies oppress women everywhere. Second, Iranian women achieved the rights they possessed at the beginning of the Islamic revolution through their own hard and persistent effort. Third, without the support of the modernizing state and its political organs, women's rights are unattainable in an Islamic society. Fourth, women achieved these rights outside the sphere of traditional Shii Islam and against the will of the Shii religious leaders. Fifth, once rights have been achieved, they settle into the society's collective psyche creating a new set of historical conditions and thereafter cannot be easily dislodged. In the final analysis, therefore, achieving women's rights in Iran depends on achieving and dispensing political power.

Rethinking Women’s Human Rights in the Middle East

Wednesday, January 1, 1992

In Women, Culture and Society: A Reader Middle Eastern women leaders, as indeed other women leaders, need to transcend their parochial cultures and achieve the ability to look at women’s condition, which is in a significant sense the human condition, from a global view­ point. They must become global leaders, for oth­erwise they will not be able to defend and promote rights that are historically valid against accusations that they are instruments of imperial­ist domination.

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