“It takes a lot of hard work to change cultures of dictatorship to cultures of democracy. We need to develop strategies so we can work as quickly as possible…to try to avoid replacing one kind of dictatorship with another,” said Mahnaz Afkhami.
More than 2,500 women from 140 countries traveled to İstanbul on Thursday for the start of the 12th Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) Forum. Mahnaz Afkhami, a former women’s affairs minister of Iran, led a break-out session Thursday for women’s rights activists from the Middle East and North Africa to share their strides and challenges in advancing women’s rights in the midst of the democratic uprisings that have swept the region. But the hindrances Muslim women face are not so different than those of women across the globe, Afkhami told Today’s Zaman in an exclusive interview.
Over the past two months protest movements have transformed the face of governments across the Middle East and North Africa. As the upheaval continues, we examine the role of women in these demonstrations, and how new regimes will affect women’s rights throughout the region. Will they bring greater freedoms, or impose further constraints?
NPR KQED Radio / By Michael Krasny / Listen