Women and Leadership in Muslim Societies: Voices for Change

Event Details

  • Time


  • Date

    25 Nov, 2002

  • Location

    • Kenney Auditorium, Johns Hopkins University
    • 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC
  • Contact


Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi is visiting scholar at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and Director of the SAIS Dialogue Project at Johns Hopkins University. She has written and lectured widely on the political implications of literature and culture and on the human rights of women and girls. Her most recent publication is Reading Lolita in Tehran (2002).

Mahnaz Afkhami

Founder & President of Women's Learning Partnership, Mahnaz Afkhami has been a leading advocate of women's rights internationally for more than three decades, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. She is Executive Director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies and former Minister of State for Women's Affairs in Iran.

Ayesha Imam

Ayesha Imam (Nigeria), an expert on women’s legal rights in Africa, is former Executive Director of BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights. Co-founder of the first feminist organization in Nigeria, Women in Nigeria, she is a core member of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, an international solidarity network.

Asma Khader

Asma Khader (Jordan), a leading advocate of the campaign to strengthen legislation outlawing honor killing, is a member of the Permanent Arab Court as Counsel on violence against women. She is Coordinator of Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan and former President of the Jordanian Women’s Union.

Thoraya Obaid

Thoraya Obaid (Saudi Arabia), Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the UN. A leading advocate for the advancement of women’s rights, she is former Director of the Division for Arab States and Europe at UNFPA and Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

WLP, in collaboration with the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, convenes prominent women leaders to discuss women’s leadership and strategies for expanding women’s political participation in Muslim societies.

Azar Nafisi moderates a panel that includes WLP representatives Mahnaz Afkhami, Ayesha Imam, Asma Khader, Thoraya Obaid, and Shirin Tahir-Kheli.

Watch: Women and Leadership in Muslim Societies: Voices for Change, part 1

Watch: Women and Leadership in Muslim Societies: Voices for Change, part 2

In addition to WLP representatives, Shirin Tahir-Kheli contributes.

Shirin Tahir-Kheli, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for special political affairs, is a fellow and research professor at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and formerly served on the National Security Council.


2–4 PM

MESA Special Session: “Islam, Globalization and Feminist Networks”

  • Marriot Warman Park Hotel
  • 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC

5-7 PM

WLP/SAIS Reception and Public Event: “Women and Leadership in Muslim
Societies: Voices for Change”

  • The School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • 1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Reception: 5:00–5:30 PM

Program: 5:30-7:00 PM

8 PM MESA Reception

  • Home of Marjorie Ransom
  • 2269 Cathedral Ave., NW, Washington, DC


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