Shirin Ebadi

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Shirin Ebadi, who in 2003 became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. She is the founder and head of the Association for Support of Children’s Rights in Iran. For more than three decades she has steadfastly worked to improve Iranian women's legal rights and to protect the rights of the child. In Iran, Ms. Ebadi has been an advocate for an interpretation of Islamic law that upholds human rights, gender equality, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. She has been involved in a number of controversial political cases, including representing the families of writers and intellectuals who were victims of the serial murders in 1999-2000. She has been imprisoned on numerous occasions for her involvment in such cases.

Ms. Ebadi received her law degree from the University of Tehran and in 1975, became one of the first female judges in Iran. She was forced to resign from the post following the revolution in 1979. She has written widely on children's rights and human rights conventions and declarations. Among her books translated into English are The Rights of the Child: A Study of Legal Aspects of Children's Rights in Iran and History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran. She currently works as a lawyer and teaches courses at the University of Tehran.

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