UW News

March 19, 2002

Mavis Leno, women’s rights activist and wife of Tonight Show host, talks March 26 about women’s rights in post-Taliban Afghanistan

News and Information

For the last five years Mavis Leno has used her status as an author and celebrity wife to bring attention to the plight of women under the Taliban rule.

Leno will speak about the restoration of women’s rights in post-Taliban Afghanistan in a lecture at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26 at Town Hall, 6th and Seneca.

The chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation and wife of Tonight Show host Jay Leno, Mavis Leno is the United States’ major critic of Taliban treatment of women. Leno assumed her role as chair of the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan in 1997, less than one year after the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women began.

After the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Leno has been in demand as a speaker and guest on such shows as Larry King Live, The Today Show, CNN, Hardball, MSNBC Nightly News and the Tonight Show. During her tireless campaign to bring attention to gender apartheid in Afghanistan, Mavis was also featured in Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, US magazine and People magazine.

As a new government takes shape in post-Taliban Afghanistan, Leno will address what is being done to assure the safety and security of the women in that country.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Center for Women & Democracy at the University of Washington and the Feminist Majority Foundation. Tickets are $10, $20 and $50. Call 206-685-3591 for more information.
For more information, contact: Beth Bryant or Jesse Israel, Center for Women & Democracy, 206-685-3473, e-mail: cwd@u.washington.edu.