A Feminist a Day: Shirin Ebadi

Who is she?

shirinShirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, former judge and human rights activist, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her work in women, children and refugee’s rights.

She has lived in exile in the UK since 2009 due to persecution in her home country. 

She was the first ever woman judge in Iran, but after the 1979 Iranian revolution, she was demoted to being a secretary because the new regime banned women from being judges.

Shirin set up her own law firm, representing political dissidents, rape and child abuse victims.

Continuing to defy the regime, she became the country’s highest profile human rights activist. She was subsequently put on the country’s death list and her brother-in-law was executed. In 2009, the authorities confiscated her Nobel medal and arrested her sister, forcing her to flee in exile.

Why should we thank her?

Shirin has been a key driver of the feminist movement in Iran, defying a hardline regime that sought to undermine women’s rights. Her bravery in the face of persecution is an inspiration.

Best quote

“It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered. That belief, along with the conviction that change in Iran must come peacefully and from within, has underpinned my work.”

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A Feminist a Day: Shirin Ebadi

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