Special event on the "Role of Women in the Silk Roads"

When :

from Wednesday 3 April, 2019
to Thursday 4 April, 2019

Type of event :

Special Event

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, 125, avenue de Suffren, 75007, Paris, France

Contact :

Tara Golkar, t.golkar@unesco.org

Within the context of the UNESCO Silk Roads Initiative, UNESCO, in partnership with permanent Delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Sultanate of Oman, the Republic of Tajikistan and Turkey, will organize an event to highlight the role of women in the Silk Roads as well as the necessity of empowering women for protecting and promoting Silk Roads common heritage.

The common cultural heritage of the Silk Roads is an outstanding basis for understanding mutual influences and fostering intercultural dialogue. Women have played an essential role in protecting, recreating and transferring important elements of this common heritage. Their contribution has spanned across different fields such as: traditional knowhow, knowledge production, handicraft, storytelling, medicine, food production, gastronomy, design and rituals. These various contributions of women are not sufficiently recognized or documented.

The event will include a film screening, a roundtable, the launch of a photo album and a photo exhibition.

“Women of the Silk Roads”, a film directed by the Iranian actress and filmmaker Yassamin Maleknasr depicts the lives of four women living in rural and urban areas in four different countries along the Silk Roads: Iran, Oman, Turkey and Tajikistan. The director of the film will exchange with the public about the film.

Following the film screening, a Roundtable will be held to discuss the “Role of women in the transmission of Silk roads shared heritage” in various societies. Experiences and views on the specific role that women played in protection and transmission of this heritage will be shared by inspiring panelists.


- Ms Yassamin Maleknasr, Director of the film "Women of the Silk Road";
- Ms Bibi Russel, UNESCO Artist for Peace; and
- Mr İlber Ortaylı, Professor of History at Galatasaray University (Istanbul) and Bilkent University (Ankara), former Director of Topkapi Palace.

In 2018 UNESCO organised an international photo contest “Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads” to raise awareness among youth about the relevance of the shared heritage of the Silk Roads. From this contest, a professionally bound collection of images showcasing the best submitted photos was published in February 2019. The photo album as well as an exhibition showcasing the best submitted photos will be officially launched and inaugurated following the film screening and roundtable