I recently returned from Bangaldesh where I visited a project between CARE Bangladesh, Classic handmade Products, a local SME and Kik, a German retailer. This project trains women to make rugs which are sold to Kik and sold in their European stores.
Between 2008-2010, these efforts have developed a total of 13 village rug units supporting 320 women, operated by CHP. Monthly salaries for the women can range from 4,000 to 6,900 taka ($57-$99). In addition, CHP has been averaging about 15% annual growth since the start of the project.More detials are provided on the case studies page
We often talk about women’s empowerment and want quanitive results which can be challenging. While metrics are improtant sometimes a story highlights the issues more effectively. One of the women timidily told me that her in-laws wanted dowry from her family but they were very poor. As a result, when she was married and moved with her in-laws they were very mean to her. She had never worked before, and her family was not supportive of her working. However, the CARE community facilitator was very supportive and encouraged her to get the training so she could get this job. With a slight grin on her face, she shared that now she makes more money than her husband. When I asked what he thought about that, she replied, “he loves me more now that I can contribute to the family.” Then she whipped out her Grameenphone and asked if she could take my picture. Now that is women’s empowerment!