The Time is Now: Women Leading Middle East Uprisings

Watch video from the event here:

2019 was a year of global uprisings, with millions taking to the streets fighting for freedom and democracy. In 2020, the movement continues. 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, Civita and The Nobel Peace Center you could  listen to courageous stories featuring prominent female activists from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.

Our speakers were:

Masih Alinejad, Iranian journalist and human rights defender, who spearheaded the grassroot movement My Stealthy Freedom to protest Iran’s compulsory public hijab law.

Rasha Al Aqeedi, Iraqi analyst and researcher. Editor of the platform “Irfaa Sawtak” and fellow at the Center for Global Policy.

Taffan Ako Taha, Swedish-Kurdish activist and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization assisting victims of human trafficking.

Luna Safwan, Lebanese freelance Journalist and communication specialist, currently working in Beirut documenting the uprisings.


The event was a cooperation between the Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative, the Nobel Peace Center and Civita. It was also sponsored by Stiftelsen Fritt Ord.

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.

Støtt Civita

Civita er en liberal tankesmie som gjennom sitt arbeid skal bidra til økt forståelse og oppslutning om de verdiene som ligger til grunn for en fri økonomi, det sivile samfunn og styrket personlig ansvar. Civita er en ideell virksomhet. Vårt arbeid består av debattmøter, seminarer, publikasjoner, skolering og viktige innspill i samfunnsdebatten. Dette er gjort mulig ved hjelp av støtte fra private.

Ditt bidrag vil bidra til at Civita kan fortsette det viktige arbeidet med å formidle kunnskap og ideer som utvider rommet for politisk debatt.