Mass. -- Madame Jehan Sadat, an internationally recognized
human rights activist dedicated to women's education and
opportunity, will address the Class of 2001 at the Wellesley
College's 123rd Commencement exercises on June 1.
in 1933, she married Anwar Sadat at the age of 16. During
the course of their 32-year marriage, she earned a bachelor's
degree in Arabic language, a master's degree in literature,
and a doctorate in literary criticism from Cairo University.
Since 1988, the former First Lady of Egypt has served as
a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Development
and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland.
her husband's assassination in 1981, she has continued to
support organizations that promote peace and mutual understanding
in addition to her long-standing efforts to improve the
status of women in Egypt.
of Sadat's many accomplishments is the establishment of
a women's emancipation, education, and training society.
Now known as the Talla Society, the group trains women in
various handicrafts and pays the tuition of nearly 1,000
secondary school and university students. She helped pass
the Egyptian Civil Rights Act of 1979, popularly known as
"Jehan's Laws," which broadened divorce rights for women
in Egypt and was the first such law in the Middle East.
is the founder of the Wafa Wa Amal (Faith and Hope) Society
in Egypt, established in 1972 to assist handicapped war
veterans and civilians. The society now operates clinics,
rehabilitation centers, training programs, and recreation
areas as a city where handicapped veterans can live with
has received nearly two dozen honorary degrees and many
prestigious international awards, including UNICEF's Children's