Mahlagha Mallah, known as the “mother of Iran’s environment,” has devoted her life to raising awareness of environmental issues in Iran. Even on the verge of turning 100 years old, she perseveres in her efforts to protect Iran’s environment. Mallah played a role in both the 1972 founding of Iran’s Department of Environment and the 1993 founding of the Women’s Society Against Environmental Pollution. Her approach to addressing environmental issues is holistic, cutting across public and private sectors and promoting comprehensive education on the environment for families, local communities, schools, and workplaces.
Mallah believes that, with sufficient determination, people are capable of resolving environmental disasters. She was born in 1917 to a religious family in which there had been generations of prominent women. She is the great-granddaughter of Khadijeh-Khanom Molla-Baji, the granddaughter of Bibi-Khanom Astarabadi (1857 – 1921), and the daughter of Khadijeh Afzal-e-Vaziri (1889 – 1980). [2 ] Mallah’s great-grandmother, Khadijeh-Khanom, also known as Molla-Baji, was a chambermaid for Shokuh-o-Saltaneh, one of the wives of Iran’s monarch at the time, Naser al-Din Shah. Khadijeh-Khanom was an educated woman, which at the time was rare even in the Shah’s circle, and educated the Shah’s children […]