AZIZI Ziba Sistan and Baluchestan province, Iran

A powerful role model for women’s emancipation

The Laureat (35) is a teacher who has been appointed for her tireless leadership for the education of students in rural areas, especially girls. She has also been addressing and raising awareness on issues like child marriage in her community, where it is still widespread.

 In 2014, Ziba started collaborating with her nominator for the prize, Imam Ali’s Popular Student Relief Society (IAPSRS). Among her activities, one can mention the distribution of school supplies in dozens of schools, the fundraising and supervision of the construction of restrooms in deprived rural areas (something especially important for women), preventing 30 cases of child marriage (each case demands many hours of negotiating with the families involved), and finally teaching destitute women one of the traditional weaving handicrafts made by Balouch women, “Sousan-Douzi”. Ziba has even been able to market the product, combining it with modern art and selling it under the brand name “Noora”, thereby creating employment opportunities for many women heads of household in critical need.

Above all, she has become an outstanding role model for women and girls in a culture where they still have to struggle to find their place.

Maybe most important of all, Ziba started an IAPSRS learning center in one of the most impoverished rural areas of Sistan and Baluchistan, which has provided education for children who have no schooling. The center is called Khane-Elm (“a place of hope”) where a new culture is being born, one giving equal rights to girls as well as boys to be educated.

Her work contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals-Agenda 2030 - Target #4, #8 and #10.