Professor Haleh Afshar OBE, the Politics and Women’s Studies academic, has been given a peerage.
Professor Afshar will take up a seat on the House of Lords cross-benches as a non-party political peer in recognition of her work. She is an advisor to the Government on public policy relating to Muslim women and Islamic law and is the founder and Chair of the Muslim Women’s Network.
Afshar was chosen as a ‘People’s Peer’, an appointment for people who will bring distinction and expertise to the House of Lords. She said: “I was really very surprised and very honoured to be considered a ‘People’s Peer’. In fact, I was lost for words when I was told. I shall certainly be fighting for equal opportunities for minorities and for women as I have always done.”
Born in Iran, Professor Afshar is one of the most prolific Muslims in Britain today. She was an undergraduate at the University of York in the 1960s, became a committed Marxist during the Iranian revolution and describes Feminism as “my most important and constant commitment.” Professor Afshar has served on the British Council and the United Nations Association of which she is Honorary President of International Services. She is also Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at the International Faculty of Comparative Law, University of Strasbourg.
In addition to her academic studies, she has written widely as a journalist on Muslim women and the ‘War on Terror’.