Empower women through skill in hand-craft

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By Beletu Bulbula

The Peoples of India and Africa have been urged to preserve their diverse cultural legacy and hand crafting skills in order not only to perpetuate the traditions of the ancestors, but also as a means of gender empowerment.  “Women are the most actors in the hand crafting industry which has been playing an important role in safeguarding our ancestral footprints for centuries both in Africa and India. But, they are very poor and marginalized people,” Professor Veena Sikri, who also doubles as the chair of the Ford Foundation at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, has said. She is one of the organisers of the Hand craft Hope exhibition designed to create as another platform to promote Africa-India partnership.

According to her, “because of the impoverished conditions in which some of our society live, there was the fear that their tradition may die out and be forgotten”.

Professor Veena who is India's top hand-craft-Hope exhibition organiser argued that, “ it is only through preserving crafts that two major activities can be accomplished; preserving the tradition which is a very important cultural legacy and historical aspect of the people and sustainable livelihood would be created to the women who are practising the craft”.

The Ford Foundation chair stressed on the need for gender empowerment, adding that it is only when these marginalized and poor women have been brought up into the mainstream economy for a sustainable livelihood that the craft they practice will sustain the heritage and the young generation will emulate.

“Giving them appropriate technology, design, production methodology, and training will help enhance their economic condition.”

According to her, a comprehensive training would be provided on the seven segments of the exhibition, which include leather, basketry, bamboo, embroidery, wood work and jewellery to enhance participants' productivity.

Some of the challenges confronting the female artists highlighted during the workshop included lack of natural dyes, modern design and market network.

It was however discovered that each of the African countries has its own unique traditions, but which could be networked for bumper harvest at the global level.

On display at the exhibition held at the Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa, were works of 50 craftwomen drawn from Africa and India.

 

  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit