Another question for Shirin Ebadi: How can Afghan and Iranian women improve their situation. Ebadi pointed out the situation between the 2 countries is similar in that they are rooted in questionable interpretations of the Koran. These include interpretations about the use of burqas in Afghanistan and coverage of the hair and body in Iran.
The problems of Iranian and Afghan women have a similar root - the problem is that Islam isn't being interpreted correctly in these countries, says @shirin_ebadi #twconf12
In the name of Islam, women's rights get violated, said Ebadi. Much of Islamic interpretation comes from men, she noted. "We can be a Muslim and at the same time respect equal rights," she said.
@shirin_ebadi asks the Taliban where in Islam did they find their ideas about women covering up with the burka @trustwomenconf #twconf12
Question from Edit Schlaffer, head of Women Without Borders, on how women can become equal partners in Iran. Ebadi said Iranian women have gained the right to vote more than 50 years ago and nearly 60 percent of Iranian women are university graduates. She said women are taken very seriously even by the radical Islamist forces because they are very strong and impose their weight on Iranian society. But, laws are still difficult for women. For example, a woman who wants to get a passport must get permission from her husband, she said.
"What sort of law is this? This is not correct," said Ebadi. "We are facing these sorts of laws and we are protesting...because current laws are not compatible with our culture."
A young film documentarian then took the stage to discuss an upcoming film on the Egyptian revolution and sexual violence against women.
Watching clips of documentary on sexual abuse of women in Egypt #twconf12 Shocking stories told by victims of assault
A trailer from the film depicts what women went through at the hands of men in Tahrir Square during the revolutionary protests. One women had her veil ripped off. A friend found herself stripped naked and assaulted by the hands of men in the streets. She said when she complained to a police officer, he refused to help her because he said she was wearing make-up, tight clothes and refused to cover her hair.