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2023 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture to be delivered by Nazanin Boniadi

Recognising the #WomanLifeFreedom movement in Iran

This year’s Sydney Peace Prize Lecture will be delivered by Iranian-born human rights activist and actress Nazanin Boniadi at the Sydney Town Hall on 2 November.

An image of Nazanin Boniadi with the words "Despots fear nothing more than a free and politically active woman"

The Sydney Peace Prize is Australia’s international prize for peace, recognising leading global voices who promote peace, justice and non-violence.

This year’s laureate is Iranian-born human rights activist and actress Nazanin Boniadi.

Ms Boniadi’s lecture will be followed by a panel interview featuring Australian-born Middle Eastern political scientist Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert – recently released from 804 days of Iranian imprisonment, together with Iranian journalist and author, Shokoofeh Azar.

The 2023 Sydney Peace Prize recognises Ms Boniadi’s decades-long commitment to advancing women’s rights in Iran, and the importance of the female-led #WomenLifeFreedom movement.

Following the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Jina Mahsa Amini last year, Ms Boniadi was instrumental in bringing the human rights of women and others in Iran into sharp focus on the world stage, She has put the case before the UN Security Council, the US Senate Human Rights Caucus, the British Parliament, and forums across the globe.

The ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ movement has demonstrated the unifying power and potential of women’s rights as a lever for mobilisation and demands for change. The movement makes the pursuit of women’s rights an essential part of any pathway towards fundamental change in Iran.

Melanie Morrison, Sydney Peace Foundation Director, said: “In the Foundation’s 25th year, attention has turned to Iran and the powerful Woman, Life, Freedom movement. This year’s Sydney Peace Prize Laureate Ms Boniadi will provide a timely spotlight on Iran’s oppressive and violent actions against human rights activists. We call on all Australians to stand side-by-side with Iranians as they call for peace with justice in Iran.”

On accepting the Prize, Ms Boniadi said: “Receiving the Sydney Peace Prize is an extraordinary honour. As my compatriots in Iran are subjected to unspeakable assaults on their minds, bodies and souls and risk their lives to speak out against the injustices they experience daily, I can only dedicate this recognition to them and pledge to use this opportunity to further amplify their voices, centre them on the world stage, and support their dreams of a free, prosperous and secular democratic Iran.”

Sydney Peace Foundations’ partners in peace, the University of Sydney and City of Sydney, encourage the community to come together to talk about peace, justice and non-violence, and to honour one of the world’s most inspiring peacemakers.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO, said: “Since its inception at the University of Sydney, the Sydney Peace Foundation has reminded us that the pursuit of peace is not a passive endeavour but an active, ongoing commitment to justice and cooperation. We are very proud to partner with Sydney Peace Foundation in awarding Nazanin Boniadi and recognising her efforts in demanding a safer world, particularly for women in Iran.”

Foundation Patron and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore AO, said: “For more than 20 years, the City of Sydney has partnered with the Sydney Peace Foundation to help create a peaceful, fair, just and compassionate world, I commend the Sydney Peace Foundation on its dedication to promoting peace and honouring champions of human rights, including this year’s worthy recipient, Nazanin Boniadi. Nazanin’s work resonates around the world. We congratulate and thank Nazanin for her long-time fight for justice and setting a shining example for turning outrage into action.”

The Sydney Peace Prize Lecture and Award ceremony is on Thursday 2 November from 6:30 to 8pm at the Sydney Town Hall.

The Sydney Peace Prize Gala Dinner is on Friday 3 November from 6 to 11pm in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney.

Tickets for both events are on sale now.