Inauguration Event – 2016

A report of formal inauguration of ICWIN.

Forming a nonprofit Iranian feminist organization in Southern California which would concentrate on women’s rights had turned out to be quite a hard task in spite of many women’s desire for having such an organization.  Among the many challenges were the long distances between the cities where those women lived.  In 2013 with the help of the new communication technologies we were able to find ways of communicating with a broader group of Iranian women of Southern California and invited them to join us in forming our group. Many of them showed interest.

Among them were six ladies who accepted the responsibility of bringing people together to form a group. These six ladies were:

Elahe Amani

Nazanin Amani

Shahla Sepehr Bebe

Afsaneh Khagavi

Sudabeh Farokhnia

Anahita Mahdavi

In the beginning this was quite a difficult task because of limited human and financial support especially with legal matters.  Therefore the group decided to join the Women’s Intercultural Network or WIN whose work encompasses many of different race and nationalities such as the women of Afghanistan, Japan, Vietnam, Uganda, etc.  Finally, on September 12th 2015 in San Francisco (WIN’s Headquarter) the group was officially accepted to join as the  Iranian chapter of this organization and thus the Iranian Circle of Women’s Intercultural Network (ICWIN) was created and was officially introduced. It was and inaugurated in Long Beach, Southern California on January 17th, 2016 in a ceremony attended by 90 guests.

In the inauguration a WIN member and the event’s MC Jessica Buchleitner opened the ceremony.  The first speaker, Elahe  Amani explained how and why ICWIN was established.

Then a video of Annete Mukabera – Global Advisory Board member & Ugandan WIN member was played.

Suzie Price,  Council Woman from the 3rd district, Long Beach was the next speaker. She talked about Cities For CEDAW and the work which was done by Nazanin Amani.

The keynote speaker, Kathleen Cha, a member of the WIN advisory committee, talked about the importance of cooperation between different groups of women.

The program continued with Marilyn Fawler – president of the WIN who congratulated the inauguration of the Iranian Circle of WIN.  She then answered MC’s questions about the structure of WIN and cooperation of WIN with other Women’s groups after International Beijing Conference and also the work of CEDAW.

Nazanin Amani followed by giving some information about how CEDAW was brought to Long Beach and a message by Mayer Garcetti about the acceptance of CEDAW in Los Angeles.

Jessica, then introduced different members of various groups attending the program.  She introduced the Board of Directors of the Iranian Circle of WIN and asked them to share their reason for joining the group. Then two messages of cooperation by Rona Popal, of Afghan Women’s Association was read.

In the end, Sudi Farokhnia, and Anahita Mahdavi spoke about the future of ICWIN and in particular they mentioned our program for the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY of 2016. They encouraged everyone to join the group.