Shirin Ebadi is the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian citizen ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. As a child, Dr. Ebadi says, “I fell in love with a phenomenon I later learned was justice.” She was the first woman judge in Iran but lost that position after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. She has taken on controversial legal cases about child abuse and political dissent, helped to establish the Million Signatures Campaign to demand an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law, and with sister Peace Prize laureates Jody Willams and Wangari Maathai, began the Nobel Women’s Initiative. After threats of arrest and violence for speaking out about political dissent, she moved to the United Kingdom in 2009. The U.S. publication of her 2004 book Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope was blocked for two years under anti-Iranian embargo laws until she successfully sued the U.S. Treasury Department. Her most recent book, The Golden Cage: Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny, uses the semi-fictional lives of three brothers to tell the story of Iran’s transition from monarchy to Islamic Republic.
Recorded Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.