The Time is Now: Women Leading Middle East Uprisings
2019 was a year of global uprisings, with millions taking to the streets fighting for freedom and democracy. In 2020, the movement continues.
Place: Nobel Peace Center
In Iran, the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane re-ignited the anti-government protests, and similar mass demonstrations are taking place in Iraq and Lebanon, demanding social and political change.
Many of the leading activists are women, and together with Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative and Civita, we invite you to come and listen to courageous stories featuring prominent female activists from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.
Luna Safwan is a Lebanese freelance journalist and communication trainer currently based in Beirut.
She has previously worked as a reporter and editor for several pan-Arab news outlets. She is currently a freelance writer with Raseef 22 and VICE Arabia, with a special focus on Lebanon, simultaneously working as a media trainer in the MENA.
Her past stories include covering Internet freedoms & digital rights, the Arab Spring, terrorism & the refugee crisis between Lebanon and Turkey with a special focus on women and Syria.
Her past projects include an award winning documentary and short audiovisual reports, her documentary about the Syrian Refugees on the Lebanese Syrian borders won the Samir Kassir Award for the Freedom of Press in 2013.
Masih Alinejad is an Iranian journalist and human rights defender, who recently took part in the World Economic Forum where she talked about the recent wave of protests in Iran and what she calls her country’s “gender apartheid”. Alinejad is known as the founder of the grassroot movement called “My Stealthy Freedom” to protest Iran’s compulsory public hijab law for women and girls, a product of the country’s 1979 revolution.
Masih uses her huge social media following to spread the voices of people in Iran to the international community and makes frequent appearances on major news networks in North America to discuss the human rights situation in Iran.
Her awards and publications include the UN Watch’s International Women’s Rights Award, the AIB Media Excellence Award, and the Swiss Freethinker Association’s Freethinker Prize, among other honors. Her memoir, “The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran,” was released in 2018. Alinejad currently lives in exile in New York City.
Rasha Al Aqeedi is an Iraqi analyst and researcher. She is currently the Editor in Charge of the Iraq-focused platform "Irfaa Sawtak". She was previously a Fellow at FPRI and GWUPOE. She is currently a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Policy. Rasha's work focuses on the social dynamics of contemporary Iraq, non-state actors, as well as political Islam and its impact on society. She was born and raised in Mosul.
About the Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative (OWRI):
A network of activists and experts founded on the idea that collaboration is key to supporting universal gender equality. The Initiative seeks to connect prominent women’s rights activists around the world with Norwegian civil society leaders. Following the talks at the Nobel Center, participating activists will convene for two days of workshops where they can explore partnerships and collaborative projects to elevate their work, expand their resources and broaden their opportunities. 2020 is the third annual gathering of OWRI in Oslo.