In the News

In the News

Mahnaz Afkhami has been featured in the news in print media, social media, and on television and radio.

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Why Iran’s former Minister of Women’s Affairs thinks these protests are different

Author : Matt Galloway, CBC Television

In conversation with Matt Galloway, on CBC Television radio program The Current, Mahnaz Afkhami speaks about her time as Minister for Women’s Affairs of Iran. She also speaks about her childhood in Iran and the Iran she sees today. Afkhami speaks in depth about how she views current protests and how they differ from previous protests that have occurred in Iran and across the world.

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Mahnaz Afkhami was Iran’s Minister for Women until the 1979 Islamic revolution and has never been able to return since (Spanish)

Author : Maria del Pilar Castillo, La Nación

Description: In an interview with La Nación, Mahnaz Afkhami speaks in depth about her time as the Secretary General of the Women’s Organization of Iran and as Iran’s first and only Minister for Women’s Affairs. Afkhami discusses Iran’s drive in the 1970s to focus on modernity and women’s rights. She also speaks about the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and her subsequent exile. She also shares her views on current events in Iran, centered around the death of Mahsa Amini, and her views on Iran’s future. 

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Shirin Ebadi, Mahnaz Afkhami Honored in London Ceremony

Author : Nazanine Nouri, Kayhan Life

Mahnaz Afkhami was honored alongside Shirin Ebadi at the Royal United Services Institute in London for her lifelong work to promote women’s human rights. The event was hosted by Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security and featured a panel discussion on human rights in Iran. “Mahnaz Afkhami offered insight into the challenges she and her colleagues faced passing women’s rights-focused legislation in Iran, and offered her advice on how to approach human rights campaigns, telling guests, ‘We know that playing the role of victim doesn’t help… we need to get out there and get what we need.’”

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PAAIA’s 2019 Civic Engagement Forum: An Empowering and Successful First

Author : The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)

Mahnaz Afkhami spoke at the inaugural Civic Engagement Forum, hosted by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). The forum, which launched PAAIA’s new Civic Engagement Initiative, featured panels on a variety of topics including advocacy, political campaigns, and running for office as an Iranian-American woman. “We heard from inspiring leaders in and outside of the Iranian American community, including women’s rights activist Mahnaz Afkhami, State Representative Anna Eskamani, Councilmember Shireen Ghorbani, State Senator Zahra Karinshak, Councilmember Mitra Jalali Nelson, Councilmember Amir Farokhi, Judge Nahal Iravani-Sani and many more.”  

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Why did the Shah send the Constitution to the Cabinet? (in Persian)

Author : Radio Farda

In an interview conducted by Radio Farda, Mahnaz Afkhami speaks about her time as the Minister of Women’s Affairs in pre-revolutionary Iran, including the obstacles she faced in addressing women’s issues. Afkhami also corrects the misconception that the Shah was the one and only decision maker for the country, saying his ministers were truly powerful and played key roles in that regard. Among other topics discussed at this interview are the views of the Shah and his ministers on equality between men and women

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BBC: The History Hour: Women’s Rights in Iran

Max Pearson’s The History Hour on the BBC World Service featured Mahnaz Afkhami on 17 Feb 2018. Afkhami was asked about her role as Iran’s first ever minister on Women’s Affairs:  “It was a very interesting experience. There were 20 men and I was the only woman and I was very young….When I had meetings, the person who would bring a file to the meeting would look to see who is the oldest man in the meeting to give it to, they never thought that I could be leading a meeting. Every aspect of the role was new and unfamiliar to me and to others.”  

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Iran’s New Crackdown on Women

Author : Dana Goldstein, The Daily Beast

In July, 2017, the Daily Beast covered the uptick in violence against prominent women’s rights activists in Iran. “Mahnaz Afkhami, who served as minister of state for women’s affairs under the pre-revolutionary government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and now runs the Women’s Learning Project in Bethesda, Maryland, says that in recent months, the Iranian government has encouraged civil-rights and pro-democracy leaders to emigrate, as an alternative to lengthy imprisonments or executions that could further inflame a restive public.”

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Highlights from the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations

Author : United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

The 60th Session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW60) took place in March, 2016, at the United Nations in New York. Mahnaz Afkhami spoke on a panel of CSW60 attendees to share highlights from the UN session.   

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1818 Society Bulletin– Gender and Development

Author : The World Bank 1818 Society

The 1818 Society – an organization of former World Bank Group employees – hosted Mahnaz Afkhami as a guest speaker to discuss the progress of international conventions on the status of women.  “Looking ahead, the overall challenge is to reconstruct our 21st century society. Dr. Afkhami’s vision is that this can be achieved with both men and women bringing their views to the table.”

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The First Female Ambassador in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Author : Voice of America (Persian)

Ensuing the appointment of Marzieh Afkham as the ambassador to Malaysia — the first female ambassador in post-revolutionary Iran — Voice of America interviewed Mahnaz Afkhami about the significance of this matter. Comparing Afkham with the first female ambassador in Iran’s history, Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, Mahnaz Afkhami noted that Dolatshahi had worked for years in women’s organizations, she had established a number of organizations and served as parliament member for two terms: “She was a woman who believed in women’s rights.”     

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