Student Blogger - #dgemw Blog: Women’s Learning Partnership
Mahnaz Afkhami heads the Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace. Women represent a large source of untapped potential around the world; in many places, women are becoming more educated and politically aware than men, yet women hold only around 18 percent of leadership roles around the world, on average. Ms. Afkhami focused on several principles to help build the type of society we want and imbue it with the values we want. First, culture in Muslim societies is not homogeneous or dichotomous (between modern and traditional); a mix of modern and traditional values exist within each society and within each individual. Second, true democracy does not exist without the participation of women. Third, change causes people to question the notion that the present is foreordained and helps promote freedom. Fourth, Islamic epistemology is not a sociology of Islamic peoples. Fifth, democracy cannot be premised on religion; if it is, the will of the people will in the end be subordinated to religious goals. Sixth, rights are not relative, even if not everyone has the same opportunity to exercise those rights.