The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mana Mostatabi, 202.386.6325 x103, 

NIAC Announces Gender Equity Initiative to Mark International Women's Day 2019

Today, on the occasion of International Women's Day 2019, the National Iranian American Council is proud to announce its new Gender Equity Initiative.


Today, on the occasion of International Women's Day 2019, the National Iranian American Council is proud to announce its new Gender Equity Initiative.

NIAC's board of director unanimously voted to enshrine NIAC's commitments to advancing gender equity both internally and externally. These include aiming for 50% of board and staff leadership positions to be held by women by the end of 2019, with a guaranteed commitment of no less than 40%; guarding against income inequality by conducting regular salary analyses that are shared with staff; and developing a set of community guidelines to ensure that NIAC's events and activities are always safe spaces for everyone involved.

The task force is made up of NIAC's board chair Shokooh Miry, a psychologist who previously directed clinical services at one of the largest rape crisis centers in California; NIAC Action's board secretary Yasmin Radjy, Interim National Political Director at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund; NIAC board member Sanam Anderlini, a gender advisor to the UN and founding executive director of the women's human rights organization International Civil Society Action Network; and NIAC's National Organizing Director Donna Farvard.

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, and a member of the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy initiative underscored the importance of the Gender Equity Initiative:

We are proud to join an increasing number of organizations in the policy and security space who are taking concrete steps to undo the gender imbalance that has for too long existed in the field. As NIAC's president, I and committed to not appear on any all-male panels and instead encourage panel hosts to invite of one of the many brilliant female experts dominating the policy and security fields.

Over the past two years in particular, we as a society have begun to navigate along overdue dialogue about gender, misogyny, and how systemic patriarchy shapes the world around us. Whether through the shocking revelations unearthed by the #MeToo movement or the more subtle-but-pernicious examples of power imbalances and unspoken sexism that impact women in all aspects of life, gender equity is now getting the attention it deserves - and we are humbled to be part of an effort to ensure we all do better.

NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. We are a nonpartisan nonprofit and the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council, which works to strengthen the Iranian-American community and promote greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.