A Personal Remembrance of Fatema Mernissi

Author : Mahnaz Afkhami, Women's Learning Partnership

Fatema Mernissi, the Moroccan sociologist widely known as a pioneer in Middle Eastern Women’s studies, passed away this week. It is difficult for me to speak of her – a friend, ally, and colleague of over two decades – in the past tense. I first met Fatema at the Middle East Studies Association Conference in…

EPOCA Interview: Mahnaz Afkhami on How the Struggle for More Rights in Iran Has Yielded Gains

EPOCA Interview: Mahnaz Afkhami on How the Struggle for More Rights in Iran Has Yielded Gains

Author : Renato Machado, EPOCA

In an interview with Brazilian magazine, EPOCA, Mahnaz Afkhami speaks about Ghoncheh Ghavami in Tehran, who was arrested for trying to watch a volleyball game as a woman. The interview addresses Afkhami’s prominent role as a women’s rights activist living in exile.  “In the episode of the game of volleyball, Afkhami believes the incessant media…

Sverige Radio P-1 Morgon: Cold Water Poured on Hopes of Equality After Arab Spring (in Swedish & English)

Author : Hakan Widmans, Sverige Radio P-1 Morgon

Swedish Radio P-1 hosted a panel discussion on women’s rights after the Arab Spring. The panel consisted of Mahnaz Afkhami alongside Eva Zillen (Woman to Woman), Asma Khader (member of Jordanian Parliament and CEO of Solidarity is Global Institute/Jordan), and Catherine Harrington (producer of the WLP documentary “Because Our Cause is Just”).

Islam belongs in People's Lives, Not in Politics, says Karima Bennoune

Author : Mark Tran, The Guardian

In her book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, UN Special Rapporteur Karima Benoune criticizes Muslim fundamentalism from a human rights perspective. The Guardian addresses this controversial topic, drawing on the viewpoints of myriad activists including Mahnaz Afkhami.  “Mahnaz Afkhami, an Iranian women’s rights activist, says: ‘If you’re in the army, the general is always…

Vibrant Networking Keeps the Door Open for Arab Women

Author : Barbara Crosette, Passblue

Women in Egypt played an instrumental role in the political uprising and fight for democracy during the Arab Spring. This article highlights the influence and solidarity of women’s networks across the region.  “Mahnaz Afkhami, the Iranian-American founder and president of the Women’s Learning Partnership, has a network of contacts in Egypt now following constitutional developments…

Radio Pooya Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami (In Persian)

Author : Shahrnush Parsipur, Radio Pooya

At this interview conducted by Iranian novelist Shahrnush Parsipur, Mahnaz Afkhami recounts her life story, starting from the time she taught English literature at the National University of Iran, trying to “help create a cohesive community of female students who could face the modern world” to the time when she set up Women’s Learning Partnership…