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MP Darya Safai

Darya Safai (born in 1975 in Tehran, Iran) grew up in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution of 1979. There she experienced at first hand how it was to live as an oppressed woman in a religious dictatorship. She graduated as a dentist at the University of Tehran. In 1999 she actively participated together with her husband in the bloodily suppressed student protests against the religious regime’s dictatorship.

As a result she was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement.

After she was temporarily released on bail, she decided to flee with her husband via Turkey to Belgium.

After her arrival in Belgium she graduated again as a dentist at the Free University of Brussels and started dental practices together with her husband in Brussels and Antwerp.

However she had never forgotten about the situation of the Iranian women and in 2014 she founded the group ‘Let Iranian Women Enter Their Stadiums’ to strive for the right of Iranian women to attend sport games in stadiums. She travelled all around the world to make people aware about this discrimination. She used the stadium ban as a symbol of one of the many discriminations Iranian women are confronted with on a daily basis.

She wrote a lot of op-ed’s in Belgian newspapers to warn about the advancing islamism, which became also a western problem.

With her testimony, she went to Flemish schools to make children aware of the importance of values like freedom, equality and secularism.

In March 2016, she received the Ebbenhouten Spoor award for exceptional merit as Flemish newcomer.

In December 2016, she was awarded the title ‘Women Of Peace’, by the Belgian Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities at the Belgian Senate for her fight for women’s rights. It was organized by the National Women’s Council, the Belgian Institute for the Equality of Women and Men and Platform 1325.

In January 2018 she decided to continue her fight for women’s rights, equality and integration in politics.

In 2019, she was elected as a federal MP to the Belgian House of Representatives.

As member of parliament, she’s a member of the committees on Foreign affairs and Defence.

She’s also a delegate to the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe.

Darya is married and has two children.

Darya Safai