Parvin Ardalan, a prominent activist in the Iranian women’s rights movement, has been awarded the Olof Palme Prize for 2007 for succeeding in making the demand for equal rights for men and women a central part of the struggle for democracy in Iran.
Ardalan was barred from leaving the country for Sweden to accept her award. She was already boarded on the plane when security agents removed her.
Ardalan is a journalist and one of the founding members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures in support of changing Iran’s discriminatory laws against women. In the past, she has been interrogated several times and detained as a result of her writings and activism.
On April 24, 2007, the Sixth Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced Ardalan to three years imprisonment for “collusion and assembly to endanger the national security.” The charges stem from a March 2007 arrest while she and other women peacefully gathered in front of the Tehran Revolutionary Court to mark International Women’s Day. Her sentence is being appealed.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative was honored to have Ardalan participate in Women Redefining Peace in the Middle East & Beyond, our international women’s conference held in May 2007. We congratulate Parvin, and all the brave women of Iran, for your courageous activism!