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Everyone is responsible for protecting the human rights: Dr. Shirin Ebadi
27.01.18 09:44
Everyone is responsible for protecting the human rights: Dr. Shirin Ebadi

Dr. Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, former judge and human rights activist. On 10 October 2003, Dr. Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's, children's and refugee rights. She was the first Iranian to ever receive the prize. In 2009, Dr. Ebadi's award was allegedly confiscated by Iranian authorities, though this was later denied by the Iranian government. If true, she would be the first person in the history of the Nobel Prize whose award has been forcibly seized by state authorities.

You are active in the field of human rights. In your opinion, what’s the most pressing human rights issue now?

The problem is that absolutely all human rights must be respected by all people across the world. Everyone is responsible for protecting the human rights. Governments, civic institutions, and each and every person. For example, look at the status of refugees in today's world. You see, a refugee who entered a country has fled the war. The government must help them, also both the civic institutions and even the people themselves are duty-bound.

Humanitarian institutions have tried to improve the situation. Do you think that they have succeeded in this?

Yes, I think so. Awards like the Aurora Prize remind us that if people hadn't been sensitive and responsive, we would all have fallen into the overwhelming cruelty that would have spread widely across the world, and could even have turned into genocide, like the one that the Armenians endured. If the world had paid attention to the Armenian Genocide, we probably wouldn’t have experienced  other genocides, like the one that happened in Africa, Holocaust, or the one that the Palestinian people saw.

In your opinion, what do modern women all around the world need the most and how can we make sure they get it?

Unfortunately, women all around the globe are subject to discrimination, and this discrimination takes very different forms. The women who are originally from the patriarchal communities, and when we say patriarchal community or culture, we don't refer to the sex issues, we mean it's a culture that doesn't accept the concept of gender equality.  In this culture, women are oppressed in families and democracy is rejected. The worse the position of a woman is, the farther the country is from democracy. However, in comparison with the situation 15 years back, patriarchy has definitely decreased.


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