Nayereh Tohidi is a Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at California State University, Northridge and a Research Associate at the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA, where she has been coordinating the Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran since 2003.
Tohidi earned her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS (with Honors) from the University of Tehran in Psychology and Sociology. Her teaching and research areas include sociology of gender, religion (Islam), ethnicity and democracy in the Middle East and post-Soviet Central Eurasia, especially Iran and Azerbaijan Republic. She is the recipient of several grants, fellowships and research awards, including a year of Fulbright lectureship and research at the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan; post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University; the Hoover Institute of Stanford University; the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and the Keddie-Balzan Fellowship at the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA. She has held visiting positions at Universities of Iowa, Minnesota, Harvard, UCLA, and USC. Tohidi’s publications include editorship or authorship of: Globalization, Gender and Religion: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts; Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity within Unity; and Feminism, Democracy and Islamism in Iran.
Dr. Tohidi has been a consultant for the United Nations (UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, and WIDER) on projects concerning gender and development, and women and civil society building in the Middle East and post-Soviet Eurasia. She represented women NGOs at both the third and fourth World Conferences on Women in Nairobi (NGO Forum 1985) and Beijing (NGO Forum 1995) on gender issues in Iran and the post-Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia.
Professor Tohidi has integrated her human rights activism and community organizing with excellence in academic work and scholarship. She is frequently consulted by the media and invited to speak on women and gender issues, democracy and human rights in Islamic societies at community events and national and international conferences. In 2001, she ran a weekly radio program on “Women and Society in Iran” broadcast to Iran, Central Asia, and Europe through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Some of her writings and interviews have been translated and/or reprinted in other languages and in different countries, including Iran, Russia, France, Austria, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Britain, Spain, India, Japan, Lebanon, and Brazil.