For several years, we have supported the Network of Women Artisan of Morocco, which brings together over 200 female artisans specialising in textiles. This organisation supports women to develop business and sales skills while protecting artisanal and traditional practices. We met women from the network at the Foire de Paris.
How is your network organised?
There are co-operatives and associations in the network. At the start of 2007, we set up in Marrakesh and the surrounding area. Today, we hope to extend the network to other towns and cities. From the start, we received support from Positive Planet and the Orange Foundation. Co-operatives which needed training were targeted throughout Morocco, and they were asked whether they wanted to set up this network.
Today, we have a partnership with a design school in Copenhagen, Denmark to work on and develop our products: cushions, bags, etc. We try to make sure each of them has its own story.
Who works in the network?
We have women who work in our workshop. We also target other women, who work from home. We offer them training courses to develop business skills which might be useful for their craft (management, communication, office tools), and we also support their personal development. The aim is to give autonomy to women through fair trade.
"Giving autonomy to women through fair trade"
-Saïda Chaabouni, President of the Women Artisans of Morocco Network.
Today, each co-operative in the network works with a hundred women. Through word of mouth, the number of women in the network has kept growing - there is strong demand to join the network. With enough experience, some women in the network are able to train others. Generally, it takes about a year’s training for each woman to become autonomous in production.
How are your products sold?
We have a workshop in Marrakesh with a sales area next to it. The women design and make the products. Then the network helps then to sell them and distribute them in our shops in Marrakesh, Casablanca and Essaouira. With the development of our activities, we are looking for other sales outlets.
>>>Follow the Artisan Women’s Network on Facebook.