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Profiles in Perseverance
The Rise and Fall of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

21 March·6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

MENAF_Event_21.03 2024-v3-01

Please join MENAF at the University of Cambridge, England to commemorate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with an informative discussion with Dr. Nina Ansary, internationally recognised Iranian-American historian, author and leading expert on women’s rights, and director of MENAF’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Since August 2021, Afghan women and girls have been grappling with draconian decrees erasing them from public life. Today, despite more than two and a half years of oppression and brutality, the women of Afghanistan are writing a new chapter in history, by demonstrating extraordinary courage and resilience in the face of enormous adversity and violent extremism.

Dr. Ansary will make a presentation on the history of women’s rights in Afghanistan and the urgent need for action by the international community amid the Taliban’s war on women.

The event is part of a speaker series in March 2024, commemorating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, focusing on women in the MENA region, hosted as part of MENAF’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Our Speaker

Dr. Nina Ansary

Dr. Nina Ansary is an award-winning Iranian-American author, historian and women’s rights advocate. She is a UN Women Global Champion for Innovation, director of the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum Women’s Leadership Initiative, and former visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

Her best-selling books Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran and Anonymous Is a Woman: A Global Chronicle of Gender Inequality garnered numerous awards – including the International Book Award in “Women’s Issues” and the Benjamin Franklin Book Award in “History” and “Interior Design.”

Nina is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, and the Barnard College, Columbia University Trailblazer Award.

She has appeared on CNN International, Fox News, Larry King, the Today Show, the BBC, Sky News and been featured in a variety of publications, including Newsweek, Maria Shriver’s The Sunday Paper, The Los Angeles Times, The UK Daily Telegraph, Teen Vogue and the Yale Journal of International Affairs. She has written for Time, HuffPost and The Daily Beast and presented her work at multilateral conferences, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, the United States Senate Human Rights Caucus, Girl Up Leadership Summit, the London School of Economics, and at Columbia, Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities.

Nina was born in Tehran and moved with her family to the United States after the 1979 Revolution in Iran. She grew up in New York City and received her Master of Arts in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and PhD in History from Columbia University. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Iranian American Women Foundation and the Board of Advisors of the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum.


6:00 PM – 6:30PM | Presentation
6:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Q&A
7:00 PM – | Drinks Reception

Register for attending the event via the form below

The event is free to attend and open to the public.


21 March
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


St Catharine’s College at the University of Cambridge, Ramsden Room
Trumpington St
Cambridge, CB2 1RL United Kingdom

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