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UNRISD Researcher, Shadi Sadr, Receives Lech Walesa Prize

2 Oct 2009

  • Author(s): Shadi Sadr
  • Press Contacts: Maya Yulistiani Minwary, Richard Warren


UNRISD researcher Shadi Sadr received the Lech Walesa Prize on Monday 18 September 2009 for her work in promoting human rights, freedom of expression and democracy in Iran.

“I am extremely honored that the jury at the Lech Walesa Award has chosen me as the recipient of this prize,” said Sadr in her acceptance address. She continued, “To be granted this prize, not only bears an honor but an importance. It is important not only for myself, but also for the battle going on in Iran for three decades, the battle for freedom and for democracy”.

Her speech went on to remind others of the harsh reality and human rights violation she and her fellow Iranians must face in Iran.

Sadr began working with UNRISD in 2007 as a country-level research team member for the Religion, Politics and Gender Equality project. She co-authored a paper with Homa Hoodfar entitled, “Can women act as agents of a democratization of theocracy in Iran?” The paper will be published on UNRISD’s website.

Sadr has worked extensively within the field of women’s rights. She was the former director of Raahi, a center that provided legal advice to women and is also an outspoken critic of stoning as punishment. In July 2009, Sadr was beaten and jailed by militiamen in Tehran. She was released 11 days later.

The Lech Walesa Prize was established by the Lech Walesa Institute Foundation in 2008. It is presented in Poland to a person, institution or social movement that works for solidarity, freedom and democracy. Sadr received the 2009 prize of 100,000 Euro with two other Iranian women, Ladan Boroumand and Roya Boroumand of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation.