Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives That Transform Communities

A quiet revolution is taking place around the world led by women artisan cooperatives. Taking the initiative to collectively produce, manage, and market their crafts, they have enriched their lives and become powerful forces in their communities. On July 4, 2010 the Museum of International Folk Art inaugurates its’ “Gallery of Conscience,” a space dedicated to exploring contemporary issues affecting folk art production and consumption.

*La Coopérative Artisanale des Boutons en Soie ‘Cerises’ sera une de dix coopératives à cette exhibition qui commencera 4 juillet jusqu’à 2 janvier, 2011.

Click here for the full press release.


Morocco – two years later

Source: Maiwa – A Quiet Manifesto

We have just had a great letter from Veronica Soul. Veronica was instrumental in bringing the Maiwa Foundation to Morocco. That might be an understatment. She was the force behind connecting the needs of the Moroccan women with our resources and desire to help. She coordinated registration; sourced local suppliers of dyestuffs; searched the market for large pots, burners, and pH neutral soaps; organized the workspace and other volunteers, and kept everything organized and focused.

Veronica recently met up with Amina Yabis who was a student in the 2007 workshop. (Click here for the full story)

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market: Amina Yabis, Artist Profile

Amina Yabis was a typical Moroccan housewife and mother of four boys whose husband was a school teacher.  With the support of her husband and family, she decided to break out of the narrow role defined for her by Moroccan society and help women play a part in the economic and political life of her community.  She formed a women’s craft association called Golden Buttons to market the hand-woven buttons women had been making in their homes for generations.  Economic success led to a literacy campaign for women and as a result more economic opportunities.


Le Maroc en mouvement : Octobre 2008:300 emplois à Séfrou grâce à la passementerie


A Séfrou, Amina Yabis dirige la coopérative « Hab Mlouk », dont le savoir-faire en passementerie (aâkad) a fait la renommée. Un secteur pour le moins original, mais qui représente une source d’emplois inépuisable pour les femmes de Sefrou. A elle seule, Amina Yabis a créé plus de 300 emplois pour les femmes de la région! En plus du tissage traditionnel, sa coopérative s’active également dans l’innovation artistique en participant à des expositions nationales et internationales. Amina est également très active dans le milieu associatif. Elle est membre du bureau de l’Association des arts de l’artisanat de Sefrou et présidente de l’association féminine « Boutons d’or ». En 2006, elle a été sélectionnée parmi les cinq candidates de la catégorie « Entreprise et service public » de la compétition « Khmissa ».