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UNICEF celebrates Iranian Women's Day

Tehran, July 27, IRNA-A drawing competition form more than 100 hildren, 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 in Tehran on Wednesday.

A press release issued by UNICEF representative office in Tehran said that the event was jointly organized by the Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior and UNICEF.

It added that the Iranian Women's Day marks the birthday of Hazrat Fatemeh (SA), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

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

"UNICEF believes that without the empowerment of women, children's rights cannot be realized. That's why celebrating this day is important," said the UNICEF Officer-in-charge, Jan-Pieter Kleijburg.

According to the report, prizes were awarded to 15 winners of the competition in Tehran and every girl participating in the event also received a gift. It also referred to the theme of the competition: `The woman who is my role model'.

"Each participant was asked to explain why they had chosen their subject. These drawings ere later displayed in the lawns of the President's Official Club.

"The 13-year-old Parisa Majzoob, one of the prize winners from Mahak, an NGO working with cancer patients, explained what she had drawn," it added.

The press release said that 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." It added that the panel discussion on the `Value of Women's Participation' was opened by Ashraf Boroujerdi from the Ministry of Interior and and Jan-Pieter Kleijburg.

"Other speaker were Farideh Mashini from the Women's Study Center and Ruchira Gupta from UNICEF, while Nemati from the Social Affairs Department of the Interior Ministry made the concluding remarks. The panel was moderated by a presenter on Iranian Television, Farideh Farrokhi," said the report.

"The current law in Iran allows men to prevent their wives from working if they deem the work dishonorable. 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," said Ruchira Gupta.

According to the report, some of the speeches touched upon 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 Quran and the CEDAW. We should be an example to the world by ratifying the CEDAW and promoting the future of our women," said Farideh Mashini, of the Women's Study Center.

It said that a music group led by Ali Khodaei performed traditional music at the event and photographs of women plating sport taken by Iranian photographer Farzaneh Khademian 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 Hormuzgan, Sistan-Baluchestan and West Azarbaijan) and Bam.

"The UNICEF will support the Ministry of Interior to ensure that by 2009 40 percent of women will have the knowledge and skill to participate regularly in community level development activities in 12 selected districts," concluded the report.

... Payvand News - 7/27/05 ... --

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