Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Iranian human rights activist, will give the Crown Lecture in Ethics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Monday, April 16.
The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the school’s Fleishman Commons at 5:30 p.m.
As a lawyer and human rights activist, Ebadi is especially concerned with the rights of children and women. In 2001, she was a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center.
In 2003, Ebadi became the first Muslim and the first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She was also the first woman to serve as a judge in Iran in 1975, but was demoted to a clerk after the Iranian revolution in 1979.
“From the day I was stripped of my judgeship to the years of doing battle in the revolutionary courts of Tehran, I had repeated one refrain: An interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy is an authentic expression of faith,” Ebadi wrote in her book, “Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope.”
“It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered,” she wrote. “That belief, along with the conviction that change in Iran must come peacefully and from within, has underpinned my work.”
The Crown Lecture in Ethics is named for Lester Crown, and brings speakers to Duke to explore ethical issues in the arts, sciences, medicine, business and other fields. Previous Crown lecturers include Rwandan Paul Rusesabagina, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist Jared Diamond, science writer Rebecca Skloot and U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.