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Human rights advocate Nazanin Boniadi announced winner of the Sydney Peace Prize 2023

The Sydney Peace Foundation is excited to announce Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born human rights activist and actress, was officially announced as the 2023 Sydney Peace Prize winner for her commitment to advancing women’s rights in Iran at the Sydney Town Hall on Thursday, 8 June 2023.

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

Ms Boniadi is deeply committed to human and women’s rights advocacy and has used her public profile as an actress to campaign in solidarity with the people of Iran. Following the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Jina Mahsa Amini last year, she was instrumental in bringing the human rights of women and others in Iran into sharp focus on the world stage, and has put the case before the UN Security Council, the US Senate Human Rights Caucus, the British Parliament, and forums across the globe.

The Peace Prize jury selected Ms Boniadi from a strong field of nominations “for drawing attention to human rights violations, for lending a powerful voice to support Iranian women and girls and their #WomanLifeFreedom movement, and for using a high-profile platform to promote freedom and justice in Iran.”

Joy Kyriacou and Felix Eldridge, co-chairs of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said: “We must continue to pay attention to the atrocities being faced by the people of Iran. The 2023 recipient, actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi, is a powerful advocate for the #WomanLifeFreedom movement, dedicating her platform to amplifying the voices of the brave protestors risking their freedom and their lives.”

The announcement ceremony was attended by Sydney Peace Foundation patron and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, along with gender and human rights expert Elizabeth Broderick.

“On behalf of the City of Sydney, we congratulate Nazanin for her long-time fight for justice. Her activism and advocacy for human rights and women’s rights in Iran is helping to turn outrage into action,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

“Thank you Nazanin for standing in solidarity with the women of Iran, who are bravely raising their voices for freedom, equality and human rights,” said Elizabeth Broderick, gender equality and human rights expert. “Recognising the importance of this female-led movement through this year’s Peace Prize winner will contribute to the much-needed momentum for change 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.”

The Sydney Peace Prize will be formally awarded to Nazanin Boniadi later in the year, when she will travel to Australia to attend the Sydney Peace Foundation’s annual lecture at Sydney Town Hall and Gala Dinner at the University of Sydney.


The Sydney Peace Prize is Australia’s international prize for peace, awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney. The Prize recognises leading global voices that promote peace, justice and nonviolence. Laureates include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Joseph Stiglitz, Patrick Dodson, Naomi Klein, the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

For over two decades, the Sydney Peace Prize has been awarded with the generous support of the City of Sydney.  Your donation to the Sydney Peace Foundation helps Laureates continue their vital work for a fairer, more just world.