When the Iranian revolution of 1979 took place, Nadia Shahram was a student in Buffalo, New York, far away from her family in Iran. But her mother and sisters were upfront along with other women marching peacefully for the removal of a dictator regime. Thirty-five years later, Nadia is leading a movement for legal equality for women’s rights in Seneca Falls.
Nadia N. Shahram is a practicing attorney in Williamsville, New York, an adjunct faculty of law at the State University at Buffalo, and an advocate for Muslim women. Ms. Shahram has been active in the community through her law practice and her community activities and recognizes the critical need for change in the treatment of Muslim women in many Islamic countries.
In view of the legal disfranchisement of millions of Muslim women of this world, and in view of the unjust laws that allow the stoning of women, laws that do not allow women an education, and because these Muslim women are systematically aggrieved, oppressed, and deprived of their human rights by their governments, Ms. Shahram, her students and colleagues have created a proclamation titled the “Declaration of Equalities for Muslim Women.” This document is a list of demands and sentiments that aspire to identify and amend laws which are discriminatory, oppressive, and prejudicial towards women in many Islamic countries. The Declaration insists on reformed legislation that is consistent with equal human rights for women. Through these actions, they hope to contribute to the efforts of numerous individuals and organizations who are dedicated to the ongoing battle for progress and fair treatment of women throughout the world.
This Declaration was inspired by Ms. Shahram’s affiliation with women’s rights organizations and in the spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her Declaration of Sentiments of 1848. Ms. Shahram and her colleagues plan to present their Declaration at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, 136 Falls Street, Seneca Falls. This will be on Saturday, July 19, 2014 during Convention Days, commemorating the anniversary of the first women’s rights convention. With the support of the Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Finger Lakes, there will be a full day of activities scheduled to coincide with the presentation of the Declaration including distinguished speakers, panel discussions, presentations, and cultural performances, all based on the theme of justice and empowerment for Muslim women.
Distinguished members from the Muslim and non-Muslim communities have been invited to attend and endorse this proclamation through signatures and statements of support. At this time when young women are being raped and hung in India and stoned to death in Pakistan, it is important for all to join in the fight against oppression, discrimination and prejudice against women around the world. Those interested are encouraged to attend this historic event. You or your organization can sign the Declaration in advance and be included on the mission statement and listed in the program, or you are invited to prepare a statement of support, which will be shared at the ceremony. For information or to attend and support this coalition for women’s rights, please contact Nadia Shahram, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pamela Thibodeau at email@example.com.
Agenda for The Declaration of Equalities
Convention Days Seneca Falls New York – July 19, 2014
10:00 – 11:00 – Annual Commemorative Procession
From the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton 32 Washington Street to the
First Presbyterian Church 23 Cayuga street
11:00 – 11:30 – Reading of the Declaration of Sentiments
By Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Portrayed by Dr. Melinda Grube)
First Presbyterian Church
11:30 – 12:00 – Muslim Women Declaration of Equalities
-Nadia Shahram and colleagues presentation of the Declaration of Equalities
-Introduction by Coline Jenkins
-Formal reading of the Declaration by Muslim women
First Presbyterian Church
12:00 – 12:30 –Annual Commemorative Procession
From the Presbyterian Church to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park
Led by Nadia Shahram
12:30 – 1:00 – Signing of the Declaration of Equalities
Women’s Rights National Historical Park 136 Fall Street, Courtyard
To sign the petition on line visit
1:00 – 3:00 – Annual convention Days Luncheon
Speaker Coline Jenkins, Gould Hotel Fee $25.00 limited seating (315 -568-8412)
Lunch is also available at a number of restaurants in the Town all located within a couple of minutes of Historical Park
3:30 -5:00 – Distinguished Panel Discussion
– Re-defining the role of Muslim women in the 21st Century
-Developing an action plan for the advancement of Muslim women
Moderator – Nadia Shahram
-Dr. Shanaz Tejani-Butt – Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies
University of the Sciences
–Dr. Hodan S. Isse – Assistant ProfessorDept. of Finance and Managerial Economics State University at Buffalo - First Lady of Somali
–Aruna Papp – A survivor, author, advocate and expert on honor based violence, Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
–Dr. Isabel Marcus – International Human and Women’s Rights Scholar, University of Buffalo, NY