International Women’s Rights Advocate Mahnaz Afkhami
to Speak at Wellesley College April 6

For immediate release:
April 5, 2005
Mary Ann Hill

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Mahnaz Afkhami, one of the leaders of the international women’s movement, will speak at Wellesley College Wednesday, April 6, beginning at 5:00 pm. The event, to be held in Pendleton Atrium, is free and open to the public. After the lecture, entitled " Ten Years After Beijing: Future Trends in the International Women's Movement," there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

" Ms. Afkami has been a leading advocate of women’s rights for more than three decades, having founded and headed several international non-governmental organizations focused on advancing the status of women,” said Emily Amick ’07, president of Wellesley Women for Choice, the student organization sponsoring her visit to the College.

Tara Matin ’07, president of the Wellesley Persian Students Association, said, “Ms. Afkhami is a prime example of an influential Iranian woman who has moved beyond the restrictions placed on many Iranian women.”

“ We are excited about expanding the horizons of both organizations to global human rights issues,” noted Amick. “Working together we have found common ground, and in a time when many people view the Muslim world and women’s rights as contradictory, we feel that this lecture holds an astute importance to the community.”

Mahnaz Afkhami is an experienced Iranian women’s rights advocate. She served as the Iranian Minister of State for Women's Affairs from 1976 to 1978, when the position was eliminated on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. She then became more involved in women’s issues as a professor at the National University of Iran. Ms. Afkhami was the founder of the Association of Iranian University Women. She also promoted women’s rights through various non-governmental organizations. She served as the secretary general of the Women's Organization of Iran from 1970 to 1979.

A leading advocate of women's rights for more than three decades, Ms. Afkhami was President of Sisterhood Is Global Institute, an organization that focuses on advancing women's rights, for 5 years. She is now president of the international non-governmental organization Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace, which aims at raising women’s awareness about their roles in the public sphere. Her list of accomplishments shows that she is the epitome of an activist and a fabulous educator, leader, and role model.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to