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Iran's Shirin Ebadi: Globalization must support democracy and Human Rights

While globalization per se is not bad, one must always talk to the other side to solve problems, said Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi in Mumbai, India on Thursday, IRNA reported.

Ebadi in an exclusive interview told IRNA on the sidelines of the six-day World Social Forum (WSF) which concluded on Wednesday that she was in general agreement with the WSF stand against globalization and capitalism, but clarified that she was not against globalization per se.

"I think (the present form of) globalization is not useful for people," she noted, adding, "Globalization must support democracy and human rights."

In response to a question whether she agreed with the ideological position that there could be no dialogue with those who are seen as representatives of capitalism and imperialism, Ebadi, said emphatically, "No. One must always talk and solve problems."

Ebadi, whose participation in the WSF was organized by an international NGO, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), said she had come to take part in the workshops held at the forum "to show I am with people, not governments."

Asked to describe herself in political terms, Ebadi answered, "I am on the side of human rights (I am) not left, not right." On the current parliamentary crisis in Iran, Ebadi felt the Council of Guardians "should at least accept everybody who wants to be a candidate for Parliament."

On the controversial issue of head scarves for Muslim women, which has seen differing responses among women in Islamic and Western societies, Ebadi said, "I look at the issue in terms of freedom. Women must be free to choose their own clothes in Islamic or European countries."

Displaying the "culture shock" experienced by many foreign visitors to India, Ebadi observed that the juxtaposition of much poverty and extreme wealth which she had seen was "not good".

"Poor people are very important to me. I ask myself why this contrast exists (and) why the government doesn't do anything for slum people," she added.

... Payvand News - 1/22/04 ... --

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