The Geneva rights summit, A global coalition of 20 non-governmental organizations announced today that Iranian freelance journalist Masih Alinejad, creator of “My Stealthy Freedom” Facebook page that allows Iranian women to upload photos of themselves without the mandatory Hijab, has been selected as the inaugural 2015 recipient of the Geneva Summit Women’s Rights Award this Tuesday, February 24th, 2015, at the 7th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. The NGOs are honoring Alinejad “for giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom and equality.”
“Hopefully, my award will create an opportunity for the voices of Iranian women”, Alinejad.
“I’m delighted to receive this award,” said Alinejad. ““From 7-year-old schoolgirls to 70-year-old grandmothers, women in Iran are all forced to wear the hijab. Hopefully this award will create an opportunity for the voices of Iranian women who say no to the forced hijab to echo throughout the halls of the United Nations.” Alinejad hopes the award will “raise global awareness about Iranian women who are standing up for their basic rights.” In retaliation for her activism, the Iranian government launched a public campaign, including billboards and media stories, to smear Alinejad’s reputation. Alinejad, who now lives abroad, was born to a traditional and religious family. Her student activities landed her in jail at the age of 20 while she was pregnant. After her release, she left her small town for Tehran. She worked as a journalist for several mainstream newspapers, starting with the daily Hambastegi, and later with the Iranian Labour News Agency as a parliamentary correspondent. However, her journalism caused trouble. In 2005, her expose of parliamentary corruption got her expelled from the legislature.
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