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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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 coverage may in some way, open the eyes of the regime. ‘We hope that the weight of condemnation from the international community will cause the Islamic Republic to reconsider their disregard for human rights, especially the rights of women,’ she says.”


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Mahnaz Afkhami on Women in Iran

Author : Voice of America (Persian)

Kambiz Hosseini (known as Iran’s Jon Stewart) interviews Mahnaz Afkhami about women’s issues before and after the 1979 Revolution in Voice of America’s Poletik (episode 57). Afkhami points out that women’s awareness was raised after the revolution; however, what they lost was tremendous: “Iran used to be the center of women’s activities on a global scale a year before the revolution.”      


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America Abroad: Women’s Rights After the Arab Spring

Author : American Abroad Media

WNYC New York Public Radio News interviewed Mahnaz Afkhami on the status of women’s rights in the Middle East since uprisings began in 2011. Speaking on the Arab Spring, Afkhami stated: “It has been a revolution for men and women, and in a sense has been a chance for women to bring their revolution to the general revolution.”


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WFPG Series “Beyond the Headlines,” Highlights of the 2014 Meeting on Commission on the Status of Women

Author : Women's Foreign Policy Group

The 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was held in New York in March, 2014. Mahnaz Afkhami gave an overview of the conference to the Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG), touching on key issues including pushback against the Beijing Declaration, women’s role in peacebuilding, and violence against women.


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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”).


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“Unveiling” the First Step in the Liberation and Empowerment of Women in Iran (In Persian)

Author : Kayhan London

Penned by Mahnaz Afkhami, this article concentrates on Reza Shah Pahlavi’s January 1936 decree on banning women from wearing veils. In her opinion, Reza Shah’s “courageous” decision was “a fundamental step in building a developed and civilized society based on freedom and equality of human beings.” It is no wonder that Rouhollah Khomeini considered unveiling the “most destructive” measure of Reza Shah; Khomeini “very well knew that unveiling dealt a heavy blow to the roots of a patriarchal system,” writes Afkhami.


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The Emphasis Should be on a Just Society (in Persian)

Author : Peace Mark Journal

“Women as leaders and decision makers” is the topic of this interview with Mahnaz Afkhami by Peace Mark Journal. She talks about the importance of women in key positions in society, stressing on their role as “pioneer leaders” while referring to all kinds of gender apartheid against women in Iran which has turned this country into “one of the most backward countries in terms of granting basic rights to women.” Afkhami highlights the legal limitations faced by women in Iran, pointing to the necessity of changing the Constitution.


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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 going to win. In the religious context, there is a hierarchy. If you’re a woman, the guy who is the general in the religious army is not even going to pay the slightest attention to what your view of the text is.’”


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Last Female Minister: Khomeini Introduced the Sexual Apartheid, but Iranian Women Are Successfully Fighting Against It

Author : Petra Sjaus

In an interview with Croatian magazine, Tportal, Mahnaz Afkami speaks about the women who participated in the Arab Spring, progress made on women’s rights in Iran, and her broad knowledge of Iran and the Islamic world.  


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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 and the rights and roles of women there. The organization publishes a fact sheet on women in the Arab Spring, outlining the setbacks to their rights under the influence of Islamic political parties”


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