Thursday, March 23rd


Fighting for Women’s Rights: Afghanistan and Iran (Hybrid Event)

Group photo of headshots of the events speakers.A conversation with award-winning journalists on international women’s rights, especially in Afghanistan and Iran.

We are living during a time when more restrictions are being placed on the lives of women and girls in a range of countries and cultures. Since the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover of Afghanistan, the group has placed limitations on employment, education, public interactions, and other fundamental rights such as access to justice. Iran’s morality police carry out brutality for breach of the country’s strict dress code. In the U.S., abortion bans are increasing.

Join Geeta Anand, Dean of the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, in conversation with PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson, Rukhshana Media founder Zahra Joya, and reporter and senior editor for NPR’s Morning Edition Arezou Rezvani.

This event is organized by the Pulitzer Center and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Support comes from the PIMCO Foundation.

Conversation and Q&A will be followed by a reception.

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Speakers and Moderator

Geeta Anand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who serves as dean and professor at Berkeley Journalism. Her stories on corporate corruption won the Wall Street Journal a Pulitzer Prize in 2002, and she was lead reporter in a series on healthcare that was a finalist in 2003. She wrote the non-fiction book, The Cure, about a dad’s fight to save his kids by starting a biotech company to make a medicine for their untreatable illness, which was made into the Harrison Ford movie Extraordinary Measures in 2010. She worked as a journalist for 27 years, most recently as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in India. She began her career at a free weekly newspaper, Cape Cod News, and then covered local government and courts at the Rutland Herald in Vermont. At her next job at the Boston Globe, she served as City Hall bureau chief and then covered the Massachusetts State House. She spent the next 17 years as a reporter and senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the biotech beat and focused on investigative reporting. She spent nearly a decade in India, the country where she was born and raised, first as a foreign correspondent for the Journal and then The New York Times.

Jane Ferguson is a PBS NewsHour correspondent, contributor to The New Yorker and multiple Pulitzer Center grantee. The 2020 Princeton University McGraw Professor of Journalism, Ferguson has more than 13 years of experience living in the Middle East and reporting from the Arab world, Africa and South Asia. Her work focuses on US foreign policy and defense, conflict, diplomacy, and human rights, with honors including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University, George Polk and Emmy awards.

Zahra Joya is the founder of Rukhshana Media, Afghanistan’s first feminist news agency, created with the aim of becoming the first national news source where Afghan women could see their own lives reflected in the stories published every day. Joya was named as one of Time’s women of the year 2022 for her reporting on women’s lives in Afghanistan. She continues to run Rukhshana Media from exile in the UK, publishing reporting from her team of female journalists across Afghanistan on life for women under Taliban rule. Her Pulitzer Center-supported project “Far From Home,” with journalist Amie Ferris-Rotman, ran in TIME Magazine. The reporting focused on the stories of Afghan women attempting to build new lives abroad one year after the fall of Kabul.

Arezou Rezvani is a reporter and senior editor for NPR’s Morning Edition, and founding editor of Up First, NPR’s daily news podcast. Much of her work centers on people experiencing some of the most difficult days of their lives, from life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and from the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine focusing on resistance and war’s impact on children. Previously, Arezou worked at an Emmy Award-winning independent film company in Berkeley, where she developed an outreach strategy around the documentary Our Summer In Tehran, a film that touches on themes of cultural diplomacy, inter-faith dialogue and U.S.-Iran / U.S.-Muslim relations. She has been the recipient of a Gracie and a White House News Photographer Association Award.


The Pulitzer Center


Logan Multimedia Center

Get directions to Logan Multimedia Center


This is a FREE event.
Tax-deductible donations from the J-School community help make this possible.

Tickets required

Register via Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/3ZLrXOw

Watch on Zoom: https://bit.ly/3F329oV


Lia Swindle