The authoritarian regime of Iran became the number one item on the agenda of the world all at once. The Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed to Sirin Ebadi, an Iranian feminist attorney, who struggles for human rights and democracy. Ebadi became the first Moslem women and first Iranian, that was awarded this prize and the choice of the Nobel Committee was appreciated by the whole world. Almost all of the prominent actors of international arena – from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to EU – deemed this choice as “perfect.”
Ole Danbolt Mjoes, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee, said that this decision of the committee was a message to the world. Mjoes said; This is a message for the Iranian people, Moslems, and for the entire world regarding the value of human, struggle for freedom, and women’s and children’s rights. We hope that this peace prize will reinforce the human rights struggle in Iran.
Ebadi, who learned in Paris that she won the prize, said; This award does not belong to me only. It belongs to everyone, who works for democracy and peace in Iran. Ebadi called for the political prisoners in Iran to be freed and that; Islam is not in conflict with human rights and all Moslems should be proud of this award. You see nothing in Koran that contradicts with human rights. Ebadi, who said that she was against any external intervention to Iran, gained 1.32 million dollars with this award.
Ebadi, who is 56 now, became the first female judge of Iran in 1974, when she was 27. However after the Islam revolution in 1979, mullahs decided that women could not undertake her job because of their “nature” and Ebadi lost her job. Nevertheless, Ebadi chose struggling instead of a self-exile and started to give law lectures in the Teheran University.
Ebadi fought to change laws on divorcing, heritage, and family in Iran. She became the unofficial spokesperson of the women, who brought reformist Mohamed Khatemi into power in 1997. She was sentenced to imprisonment because of the cases she undertook as an attorney and her license was cancelled. Ebadi is married, with two daughters aged 20 and 23.