Iranian women’s group empowers amid pandemic by making masks

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — As the coronavirus pandemic ravages Iran, a women’s group hopes to empower its members by helping them make and sell face masks. The organization called “Bavar,” or “Belief” in Farsi, formed in 2016. It allowed women looking for work to make handicrafts with donated sewing machines. It’s given widows and others a way to earn cash in a country whose anemic economy only worsened since President Donald Trump withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Now, these women are making face masks as Iran is hit by the Mideast’s worst outbreak. The organization’s founder says: “We teach them fishing instead of giving them a fish.”