Resources for Teachers and Students on Mahnaz Afkhami
Prepare: Mahnaz Afkhami is considered one of the
leading proponents of women's rights in the Islamic world.
She served as Secretary General of the Women's Organization
of Iran prior to that country's Islamic revolution, and
currently lives in exile in the United States. Her biography
can be found on the website of the World
Movement for Democracy.
Mahnaz Afkhami wrote an
original essay for the Architects of Peace project.
In it, she makes the claim that women's status is society
has become the standard by which humanity's progress toward
civility and peace can be measured.
Explore: Mahnaz Afkhami founded an organization
called the Women's
Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace,
WLP. Their major projects include leadership training for
activists and organizations, engaging in human rights campaigns
via the internet, and entering into discourse toward developing
a culture of peace.
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Mahnaz
Afkhami claims, "We have the ability to achieve, if
we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society
blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished
by the ethnic, national, and local diversities that enrich
our lives." Is this pie-in-the-sky thinking, or is
Afkhami's vision an actual possibility? Specifically, what
obstacles must be overcome to "master the necessary
goodwill" to bring this vision to fruition? Write a
three-to-five page analysis of these questions where you
outline specific problems that will be encountered in developing
a global culture of peace.
Extend: To celebrate International Women's Day in
2002, the WLP published an anthology titled Toward
a Compassionate Society. The anthology, which can
be downloaded free of charge in PDF format, contains articles
from leading scholars on topics of human rights, women's
rights, and developing a culture of peace.
Biography of Mahnaz