Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) Founder and President Mahnaz Afkhami was honored with the Shirzan Award for life-long leadership and community involvement at the 16th Annual Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) Conference on April 29, 2018 in Los Angeles. IAWF is a non-profit organization providing networking, leadership, and mentorship services to women of Iranian descent across all professional industries in the United States and internationally. The conference brought together accomplished representatives of academia, business, entertainment, and politics who advocate for women’s leadership.
During the event, the IAWF recognized Afkhami for her decades of visionary, global work in the civil society sector to advance women's human rights and agency. In her acceptance speech, she spoke of one of the most significant collaborations in the women's human rights movement--the WLP partnership--following a screening of our promotional video.
She encouraged the women entrepreneurs, leaders, and allies gathered to be involved with women-related causes locally and at the national level, and reminded them that our human rights are now globalized and require our vigilance to uphold them. On the topic of creating solutions for societal good, she advised the women in the audience to embrace the diversity of one's heritage, but endeavor to take the risks required to make alliances with those whom appear to be different from oneself.
In the “new normal” since COVID-19, feminist and human rights organizations are innovating to be inclusive in online spaces. WLP Brazil (CEPIA) found a way to bring young leaders with auditory and visual disabilities to the (virtual) table.
We at the Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) join the many organizations and individuals calling for the United Nations Security Council and the international community to take appropriate measures to safeguard the human rights and humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan.