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Iranian Women NGO's Empowerment Bazaar in Tehran

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Payvand's regular readers may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a piece on the Tehran Expo. This was for sure the single most successful art exhibition ever in Iran and close to two million dollars worth of modern art works, including paintings and sculptures of many different types and taste, were sold at this Expo which is very good news for the Iranian artists and those involved! in this business sector. The buyers were mainly banks and governmental organizations. Here again one hopes that this repeats itself in the years to come.

I would like to share with you the empowerment, not charity type of bazaar that we went to a short while back. This bazaar was mainly inspired by women groups involved in environment and women empowerment programs. These include Green Outlook Supporters, Women with Good Intention, Green Women Co-op. Gitta Mehr Group and 13th Abban Local Kitchen.

The bazaar was set up to display and market home-made or hand-made products made by women that the above groups support and encourage in many different ways in order to empower these women to stand on their own feet and to enable them to have the sufficient cash to buy new and or necessary equipment for the work that they do. Many such women are heads of families and or their contribution into the family purse is most vital, yet they lack high education and have few skills. When I asked Mrs. Moghadam, one of the main organizers and one of the most active women in many of these organizations, she listed their efforts as follows:

  • Helping to empower Women
  • Expanding and Increasing Work Culture among women
  • Developing Effective and Positive Environmental Culture
  • Improving and encouraging sense of unity, cooperation and group work
  • Learning new marketing inspiration as well as meeting people as customers

She informed me that these bazaars mainly introduce and display the work of women who are members of the above groups and their associates. The aim of these bazaars, which are held in different parts of Tehran, is not only to encourage women cooperatives to market and sell their products, but also to familiarize ordinary people with their activities. My friend and I spent nearly all the money we had in our purses and ended up with some lovely plants, beautiful handicrafts and delicious pickles and jam. Here are some pictures to show the atmosphere.

... Payvand News - 11/23/04 ... --

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