Empowerment in every sip and stitch

March 14, 2024


برای خواندن این متن به فارسی اینجا کلیک کنید

Over the years, UNDP in Iran, in collaboration with both national and international partners, has taken significant steps in empowering women economically through various initiatives. Our vision is to foster a world where women are at the forefront of advancing sustainable and inclusive economic growth, all while ensuring the conservation and preservation of our environment.

Discover the inspiring stories of Razieh, Masoumeh and Zahra who are producing visibility items and products for UNDP Iran. Their dedication showcases the significant benefits that result from adopting sustainable practices, both in terms of environmental protection and the empowerment of women, who are the backbone of our society.

Our first stop is the northwest of Iran, West Azerbaijan province where Masoumeh and Zahra have made contributions to the Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project. The initiative in preserving wetlands have yielded notable outcomes, including an almost 2.5% boost in employment opportunities, positively affecting 1,443 individuals – 84% of whom are women – across 44 pilot villages. This project has played a pivotal role in diversifying income sources and fostering new income-generating ventures, thereby enabling communities to develop new skills and tap into various markets.

Masoumeh specializes in producing herbal products, such as growing and harvesting herbal teas, offering a range of benefits. These include:

  • Gol-e-Mohammadi, also known as Damask Rose:

  • Gol Gavzabon, or Borage:

In a nearby village, Zahra collaborates with other local women in a sewing workshop, where they craft tote bags. This initiative is particularly meaningful given the environmental impact of plastic bags, which, due to their non-renewable petrochemical makeup, can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Our commitment to combating plastic waste is more important than ever. UNDP Iran closely cooperates with Y and these local women, who play a vital role in our pursuit of promoting a circular lifestyle.

Our journey continues to Hormozgan province in the south of Iran, home to Razieh, an ambitious entrepreneur. She oversees a rural microfinance fund with nine other members, operating a business focused on tailoring and local clothing. Through the cluster of local businesses, Razieh has not only enhanced her entrepreneurship skills but also empowered 170 women in neighboring villages, equipping them with the competitive edge needed to thrive.

Over in Bandar Abbas, women are busy making stunning traditional clothing and colorful crafts. Their creations are full of detailed patterns and bright colors, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of their coastal home.

With our national and international partners, we, at UNDP Iran will continue to support the economic empowerment of women while also promoting green jobs in line with conserving and preserving our precious environment.