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Iranian Women's Day July 2005

A drawing competition for more than 100 children, a panel discussion, a photo exhibition and a traditional music performance were all held to celebrate Iranian Women’s Day at the President’s Official Club here today. The event was organized by the Department of Social Affairs, Ministry for Interior and UNICEF. Iranian Women’s Day marks the birthday of Hazrat Fatimeh, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammad.

A second drawing competition was also held simultaneously in Bam with 50 children from 10 UNICEF supported Recreational Cultural Centres. These are places where children can visit after school and during the holidays.

 UNICEF believes that without the empowerment of women, children’s rights cannot be realised,” said Jan-Pieter Kleijburg, Officer-in-Charge UNICEF. “That’s why celebrating this day is important.”

Mrs. Zohreh Sadeghi, the Honourable First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Iran, gave away prizes to 15 winners of the competition in Tehran.  Every girl participating in the event also received a gift. The theme of the competition was: “The Woman who is my Role Model.” Each participant was asked to explain why they had chosen their subject. These drawings were later displayed in the lawns of the President’s Official Club.

13 year old Parisa Majzoob, one of the prize winners from Mahak, an NGO which works with cancer patients, explained what she had drawn.

“I have drawn a sun which shows my mother while the moon symbolizes me, a child. The sun gives light to the moon just like the mother gives love to a child.”

Another girl, Narges Assadi Azad, chose Iranian actress Parastou Salehi.

“I chose Parastou Salehi because I love her acting and her personality and I like to copy her mannerisms.”

The panel discussion on the “Value of Women’s Participation,” was opened by Mrs. Ashraf Borojerdi from the Ministry of Interior and Mr. Jan-Pieter Kleijburg. Other speakers were Ms. Farideh Mashini from the Women’s Study Centre and Ms. Ruchira Gupta from UNICEF. Mr. Nemati from the Department of Social Affairs at the Ministry of Interior made the concluding remarks. The panel was moderated by Ms. Farideh Farokhi who is a presenter on Iranian Television.

Some of the speeches touched on the need for Iran to sign up to the Convention to Eliminate All Discrimination Against Women, (CEDAW).

“There is no contradiction to what is written in the Koran and the CEDAW,” said Farideh Mashini, of the Women’s Study Centre. “We should be an example to the world by ratifying the CEDAW and promoting the future of our women.”

A music group led by Mr. Ali Khodaei performed traditional music at the event and photographs of women playing sport by Iranian photographer were also on display.

The event marked the launch of the protocol signed between UNICEF and the Ministry of Interior’s Women’s Participation project in the 12 districts of the three disparity provinces of Iran (Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchistan and West Azerbaijan) and Bam.

“The law allows men to prevent their wives from working if they deem the work dishonourable,” said Ruchira Gupta of UNICEF. “This not only limits the kind of economic activity women can engage in but also allows men to control women’s economic participation. This must change.”

UNICEF will support the Ministry of Interior to ensure that, by 2009, 40% of women have the knowledge and skills to participate regularly in community level development activities in 12 selected districts.

 

 
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