Freedom Leads to Empowerment: Promoting Women's Leadership and Financial Independence

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Women’s empowerment is a process. It involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women’s education, participation in decision making and economic independence. I.M.O.W. Global Council member Mahnaz Afkhami is president of Women’s Learning Partnership, which strives to empower women by practicing and promoting their leadership and self-sufficiency. The United Nation’s International…

Obama, Ahmadinejad, and the Women of Iran

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, Women's Learning Partnership

This month, for the first time in 30 years, formal negotiations between the United States and Iran took place in a relatively positive atmosphere. As President Obama had promised during his campaign, dialogue took the place of diatribe. This is an important development. Why now and why during the term of the holocaust-denying, US-bashing President…

Epilogue: Our Shared Human Values

Epilogue: Our Shared Human Values

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, White Pine Press

The century just passed was marked by unprecedented violence and cruelty. Most nations suffered or contributed to war, destruction, and genocide, the most egregious of which– the two world wars and the Holocaust–began and occurred mainly in the West. Untold numbers were sacrificed at the altar of ideology, religion, or ethnicity. Innocent people were led…

Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women’s Human Rights in Muslim Societies

Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women’s Human Rights in Muslim Societies

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, Rutgers University Press

(An earlier version of this article, titled “Gender Apartheid and the Discourse of Relativity of Rights in Muslim Societies” appeared in Courtney W. Howland, ed., Religious Fundamentalisms and the Human Rights of Women (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999)).  I. Introduction In modern times, women have moved from the margins to the center of history…

Harnessing Technology to Advance Women’s Human Rights

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, The Global Fund for Women

The 21st century is ushering in rapid and unprecedented technology that offers women a range of new opportunities to shape the world in which we live. But these opportunities will enhance our lives only if we are prepared to take advantage of them. We are now in the midst of a communications revolution that is…

At the Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity: Personal Reflection

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, The Johns Hopkins University Press

I have spent most of my adult life defending and promoting women’s human rights. I came to this field through English literature, largely innocent of theories of feminism. By the time I encountered these theories formally in the 1970s as secretary general of the Women’s Organization of Iran (WOI), I had already experienced their essence…