Earning a living can empower women, particularly those who live in rural communities. But there has always been a challenge in rural Bangladesh—it’s not socially acceptable for women to work outside the home. So why not bring the work to the women instead?
Dhaka Handicrafts does just that. Dhaka is a worker-owned company that markets traditional handcrafted items for rural artisans in Bangladesh. Targeting families with a per capita income of less than $85 a year, Dhaka represents about 16,000 artisans working in 64 groups—including the many women in rural areas who turn jute, the so-called “golden fibre” and other grasses, into sturdy handmade baskets. In this way, women have a livelihood, they do not have to move to already overcrowded cities, and many maintain they now feel they have a voice in their homes!