Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran 1957. Neshat left Iran and began studying at the Dominican College and then enrolled to UC Berkeley and got her BA, MA and MFA. She then moved to New York where she met her husband, founder of the Storefront for Art and Architecture non-profit organization. Neshat was then exposed to many different ideologies and got experience with exposure to concepts that would benefit her artwork. When she returned to Iran, she was exposed to different life style than what she remembered; this inspired her to begin her first mature work, The Women of Allah. Her theme of art falls under Gender Issues.