Shirin Ebadi was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Peace for her tireless efforts to promote human rights, in particular, the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. She is the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and only the fifth Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in any field.
Ebadi was the first female judge in Iran and served as president of the city court of Tehran from 1975 to 1979. In addition to being an internationally recognized advocate of human rights, she also has established many nongovernmental organizations in Iran, including those for protection of children, women, and political prisoners, as well as an organization dedicated to carrying out the Land Mine Treaty. As a lawyer, Ebadi has taken on many controversial cases defending political dissidents and, as a result, has been imprisoned numerous times. Her refusal to be silenced and her willingness to take on politically sensitive legal cases have won the admiration of human rights groups across the world.
A lecturer at Tehran University, Ebadi has written books calling for greater legal protection for Iranian children and for disclosing alleged human rights violations by the Iranian authorities. Her memoir, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope, will be published by Random House in May 2006.
Friday, February 3,
Rice Memorial Center
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