Shaparak Shajarizadeh is a former Iranian political prisoner and activist for women’s rights in Iran and around the world. She became a leader in the “Girls of Revolution Street” and White Wednesday civil disobedience movements. In February 2018, she was famously arrested for removing her headscarf in defiance of Iran’s compulsory hijab laws. Shajarizadeh has spoken out against Iran’s repression and discrimination of women at human rights events and seminars throughout Canada and before the Canadian Parliament. She was named by BBC as one of the 100 most inspiring and influential women around the world in 2018.
In March 2019, she published an article in TIME magazine about the arrest of her lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights advocate who was charged of national security offences related to her work defending women who have protested the compulsory hijab laws. Today, Shajarizadeh lives in Toronto where she works with former Canadian justice minister and women’s rights advocate Irwin Cotler as a Senior Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.