‘Real women heroes’ dolls to inspire young girls
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Some 50 women are making dolls of the “real women heroes,” such as a Hittite queen and a Turkish astrophysicist, as part of a project which aims at both generating money to fund to help girls with their education and inspire them.
“We want girls to get their inspiration not from dolls with “plastic” messages but from the stories of women who really lived and succeeded in Anatolia,” said Renan Tan Tavukçuoğlu from the initiative, adding that this social venture also provides employment for women.
The Hittite Queen Puduhepa, who lived some 3,300 years ago, is coming back to life in the form of a rag doll. Queen Puduhepa was the wife of Hattusili III, who sealed the first ever recorded peace agreement, also known as the Treaty of Kadesh.
The clothes of the queen are designed by the renowned stylist Arzu Kaprol.
Kaprol came up with a double-sided robe for the doll, Tavukçuoğlu said.
“Her thinking was: Puhuhepa lived 3,000 years ago. Ok. But if she lived today, she would sure wear jeans. The outside of the robe is made of denim, but the inside is made of a fabric, known as “kutnu,” unique to the Gaziantep region,” Tavukçuoğlu explained.
“With this initiative we claim our intangible cultural heritage and at the same time create jobs for women. We channel the revenues from those dolls to support girls’ schooling expenses, creating social benefit in the short term,” Tavukçuoğlu said.
Those dolls can help girls grow self-confidence and strong personalities, Tavukçuoğlu added.
The funds generated by the initiative is used for girls’ education through a foundation, Tüvana Okuma İstekli Çocuk Eğitim Vakfı, which supports girls who cannot go to school because of financial problems.
The second rag doll created depicts Dilhan Ege Eryurt, the first Turkish female astrophysicist working for NASA. Eryurt, who received the Apollo Achievement Award, took part in the project for the landing on the moon.
Zeynep Tosun designated Eryurt’s doll.
“Tosun has a very special collection called ‘the Renaissance.’ It is just for us,” Tavukçuoğlu added.
The next women hero rag doll figure will embody a female doctor or a teacher, which will be designed by stylist Özlem Süer.
The project also created jobs for more than 50 women in the provinces of Istanbul, Bursa, Karabük and Bartın.
“Every new order we receive gives us a great happiness. We caress each doll’s hair before placing them into the boxes. We wish that those dolls bring happiness, peace and good vibes wherever they go,” said Sema Baykurt, one of the women making the dolls.