About the Author

Mansoureh Shojaee was born on August 21, 1958 in Tehran. For over 20 years she has belonged to the Iranian women’s rights movement. For over 30 years she has been involved in politics. She was a librarian at the National Library in Tehran for 22 years and worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and literary translator of french. From 1994 to 2004 as part of the Children’s Book Council of Iran, an NGO that represents the Iranian National Section in the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), she worked with blind children and enabled them to access literature by teaching them to use audio books. For her efforts she was honored with the 2010 Testimonial Statute Honors Award by the IBBY. She also worked with other organizations including UNICEF on the development of mobile libraries for Iranian women and children. As a close confidant of Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate from 2003, Mansoureh Shojaee committed herself to establishing an Iranian Women’s Museum. The project should be started in the library Banu in Evaz in the southwest of Iran, but it was banned in the early stages. In 2000, Mansoureh Shojaee co-founded--with the women's rights activist, journalist, and writer Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and other like-minded women--the Women’s Cultural Center (Markaze Farhangi-ye Zanan) and in 2003 she was a co-founder of The Women’s Library in Sedighe Dowlatabadi. She is one of the initiators of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality and co-founder of the website, The Feminist School. Because of her commitment, she was arrested several times; most recently on December 27, 2009 in Evin Prison. After a month she was released on bail and could freely leave after having already suffered a four-year travel ban in Iran. It was then that she went into exile. She was first receive at the Heinrich Boll foundation and since 1 January 2011 has been a scholar in the Writers in Exile Program. She continues to work as a women’s rights activist, writer, and journalist. Learn more about the Iran Women's Museum.