Parvin Ardalan, born 1967 in Tehran, is a leading Iranian women's rights activist, writer and journalist. She was awarded the Olof Palme Prize in 2007 for her struggle for equal rights for men and women in Iran, making the demands of equal rights for women and men a part of the fight for democracy in Iran. She was awarded the Hellman/Hammett award in 2010. She is an honorary member of Swedish PEN and resided as ICORN writer in Malmö City of Refuge from 2010 to 2012.
Since 2013, together with partners in Malmö, she has led the project “Women 100” (One Hundred Years of Immigrant Women‘s Life and Work in Malmö) - or “Women Making History,” to make visible and recognize immigrant women´s life and work in Malmö through 100 years. These days they launch the book Women making Herstory.
“Nearly 50 000 citizens of Malmö are immigrant women. Their lives and work have shaped an important part of history of the city and continues to contribute to the development of the city, socially, politically and economically. With this project, we attempt to see how gender, ethnicity and class has formed the image of immigrant women in the history of Malmö – through their own voices.” Says Ardalan.
The endeavor was initiated by Feminist Dialog, Malmö Stad and Malmö Museum, and went on to include Malmö University, ABF, Malmö City Archive, the civil society, the women organizations, networks and individuals. Until today Women 100 has arranged seminars, workshops, lectures, exhibition, interviews, newsletters and a tumbler site . It has combined face-to-face communication with printed material and a digital platform as part of its participatory communication.
Since the start, the project partners have used different methods in order to visualize and unfold the untold stories of immigrant women in Malmö. The aim was to not limit the project to ending up in a box of collected stories, but to involve the storytellers in the processes of participation.
Parvin continues: “This is a collective effort by the institutions and the community both politically and culturally to question and envision history from the shadows, to change the myths created and reproduced until today”.
Read more about the project and find stories of the women who participated in the project here:
Launch of the book Sveriges Radio
Women making herstory
The project is funded in part by Kulturrådet and Malmö högskola through support from Vetenskapsrådet.