Diana Nammi has dedicated her life to campaigning for universal human rights. She spent 12 years on the frontline as a Peshmerga (Kurdish freedom fighter) and has co-authored a book; ‘Girl With A Gun: Love, loss and the fight for freedom in Iran’ about her early life. Eventually her activism in Kurdistan Iran and neighbouring countries resulted in her facing persecution, which forced her to flee.
She now lives in the UK and in 2002 she founded the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation; now IKWRO-Women’s Rights organisation; an NGO providing specialist advice, advocacy, counselling and a refuge to women and girls from Middle Eastern and North African communities in the UK affected by so called “honour” based abuse, including forced marriage, child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, as well as domestic violence and other form of gender based violence.
As Executive Director, Diana leads IKWRO’s campaigning. Successes include the Justice for Banaz campaign, which led to the first extradition from Kurdistan Iraq to the UK of two of the perpetrators of the “honour” killing, the criminalisation of forced marriage in the UK in 2014 and the first national review of policing of “honour” based abuse.
Diana’s work has received national and international recognition and she is regularly called upon to share her expertise with government, academics, media and professionals. In 2012 Newsweek and The Daily Beast named Diana one of 150 women who shake the world. In 2014 she received the Special Jury Women on the Move Award, the Woman of the Year Award and she was one of BBC’s ‘100 Women’. In 2015 Diana won the Women of Courage Award from the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York and the XX1 Premis Ones Mediterrania Award in Spain. In 2016 she was bestowed an honorary doctorate from the Department of Law at Essex University and she was bestowed a second honorary doctorate from the University of Saint Andrews in 2019.