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Guest lecture by first ever Muslim woman Nobel Prize winner


Winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Shirin Ebadi, once listed by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world, will be speaking at Malmö University on August 30.

Students, staff and members of the public are invited to attend the guest lecture by the Iranian-born lawyer, former judge and human rights activist.  

Fighting for fundamental rights

Shirin EbadiEbadi, the first female judge in Iran, was given the prestigious peace prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's, children's, and refugee rights.

The award sparked controversy in Iran forcing her to subsequently flee; she now lives in exile in the United Kingdom.

She began her career as a judge in 1970 and within five years was appointed a president of the Tehran city court, the first woman in Iranian history to be so. However, after the 1979 Revolution she was demoted after pressure from conservative clerics.

She took up the struggle for fundamental human rights and opened a legal practice defending people who were being persecuted by the authorities. She also devoted much of her time to writing articles and books.

Threats to her life

The decision to honour her the Nobel Peace Prize proved divisive both in Iran and internationally. She has since spoken of threats against her life and the lives of her family. Such threats intensified and in 2008 she released a statement saying that, along with other demands, she had been warned not to give speeches abroad.

Iranian authorities seized her Nobel Peace Prize along with other treasured possessions and froze her bank accounts. Further, Iranian police shut down the office of a human rights group that she led.

“It will be an amazing opportunity to listen to a woman who truly has had an impact on our world and history through her actions,” said Pro Vice-Chancellor Cecilia Christersson.  

Shirin Ebadi will be speaking in her native Persian language, but the lecture will be interpreted into English. After, there will be an opportunity for audience members to pose questions. The themes of the lecture will be centred on human rights. There are a limited number of seats available and preregistration is required.

You can register your attendance here.

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Amanda Malmquist