Dr. Fariba Bashiri, President of IWOO

We exist because of you

The Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario (IWOO), a registered, not-for-profit and charitable organization, was established in Toronto, Canada in 1989. IWOO was initially created by Homa Sarlati and a few Iranian Canadian women as an association of volunteer women dedicated to improving the lives of Iranian women and families.

In 2009, IWOO adopted a new vision and elected a Board of Directors, committed to a strategic direction that would be current, transparent and reflective of the needs of the Iranian-Canadian community.

Today, IWOO has become an organization that serves all Ontarians, especially the immigrant women and families, who could benefit from its services. IWOO is committed to assisting women, families, and members of the broader immigrant communities in Ontario, to overcome barriers and contribute productively to all aspects of life in Canada.

Our Values

  • Respecting the community, clients, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Celebrating diversity, working to eliminate oppression and embrace equity.
  • Serving the community with accountability and transparency.
  • Striving to effectively and responsibly maximize the use of public funds and resources.
  • Collaborating and partnering with like-minded organizations, communities, and individuals to build and strengthen organizational capacity.
  • Fostering innovation and best practice service delivery models in fulfilling the organizational mission.

Our Vision

IWOO intends to help the immigrant community members, alongside Iranian-Canadians, to successfully integrate into Canadian society by achieving economic, social, and political equality while maintaining their heritage and cultural values.

Our Mission

Our mission at the Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario (IWOO) is to provide support to women and their families. Also, to improve the social, economic, mental health, wellness, and educational opportunities for women and their families while empowering their journey in life. As well as to promote solidarity and collaboration among women.

Our Board of Directors

Noushin Khasteganan

Dr. Noushin Khasteganan

Board Member


Behnaz Moeinzadeh

Vice President


Leyly Mirsanjari

Board Member


Niloufar Soltani

Board Member


Elena Metersir

Board Member


Dr. Hengameh Saberi

Board Member


Parna Kazerani

Board Member


Saharnaz Nahidi

Substitute Board Member

Our Staff

Dr. Noushin Khavarian

Office Manager

Leili Panahi


Mohammad Tahvili

Website Administrator

Our Funders

Our Partners

The following organizations have guided IWOO with diligence and partnered with us by providing expertise, staff, space and material resources

Persian Inter-Agency Networking – PIN

CILAC Pro Bono

Family Service Toronto

Iranian Canadian Social Service Providers Network

Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto District- LDATD

Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto

Madison Community Services


Parkway Forest Community Centre

SAFSS – Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services

Skills for Change

TNO- The Neighbourhood Organization

Northstar success team

Toronto North Local Immigration Partnership

Iranian Association at the University of Toronto – UTIRUN

Iranian Students Association at York University – ISAYU

Unison Health & Community Services

Vaughan Community Health Centre

Dr. Fariba Bashiri

Dr. Fariba Bashiri joined the Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario as a member of the Board of Directors in 2016. She taking on the role of Director of Mental Health Committees as of 2017 and as the president from 2020. She has held various roles, including a Medical Doctor, university instructor, researcher, as well as social and human rights activist in Iran. Fariba graduated from Tabriz Medical School and worked as a physician for more than 20 years in Iran. She has dedicated her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and to reach their health and full potential. Fariba came to Canada as a skilled worker immigrant in August 2011 and joined IWOO as a member and workshop facilitator in 2014. She also graduated from studies in Public Health, Homeopathy, Medical laboratory science and Weight Management from England and Canada. Fariba currently practices as a Teaching assistant at CCNM collage, public health provider and Alternative Practitioner in Toronto. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Behnaz Moein

Behnaz is a registered social worker who has more than 10 years of experience working in client-centered positions and passion for social work. Behnaz has worked extensively with individuals of culturally diverse backgrounds who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, separation issues, mental health issues, addiction, unemployment, disabilities and immigration issues.
Behnaz is passionate to work with the principles of anti-oppression and equity in responding to the service needs of individuals and work toward removing systemic barriers and creating opportunities for positive change. Behnaz also has passion for community development and she has been involved with communities by conducting workshops.

Afsaneh Vakilian

With a Bachelor and Masters in Accounting and Finance, Afsaneh has spent 35 years in the field of accounting and financial affairs, holding various positions from accountant to director of finance across various firms, including CEO of her own firm.

When she joined IWOO in 2016, she brought over 22 years of experience as CEO and shareholder of her own firm in Iran, five years of Canadian experience as a manager, as well as six years of financial management experience at a non-profit organization.

Elena Metersir

Elena has Bachelor of Electrical-Communications Engineering and Master of science in Industrial Engineering. She has life coach experience to empower women.
Also, Elena is well experienced in teaching, social working and leading groups and Skillful in identifying issues in a program and resolving

Leili Panahi

Leili joined to IWOO as a bookkeeper in 2019. She has a college degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Conestoga College Canada. Also she works as a freelance bookkeeper for 6 years in Canada and has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and administration in Iran.

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