It's not uncommon for male artisans to travel around the world attending trade shows and workshops. Yet for female artisans, such opportunities are unavailable due to religious and cultural norms, lack of confidence and family obligations. But with e-commerce, craftswomen everywhere are experiencing a change. One that empowers and liberates their livelihood as well as their businesses. In fact, e-commerce is becoming a game-changer for women artisans everywhere.
Not only is online communication connecting female artisans with global markets, but it's also allowing them greater control over the creativity, design, production, marketing and sales of their businesses. Most importantly, e-commerce is giving craftswomen a chance to govern their own income and enabling them to do it all from their own homes. But that's not all. By providing these opportunities as well as access to legal information, business resources and designer and artisan networks, the internet is strengthening craftswomen’s self-help groups around the world.
In Module 5 Community ICT Centres for the Social and Economic Empowerment of Women, Nidhi Tandon, the Director of Networked Intelligence for Development (NID) writes:
“If planned and executed properly, community ICT [Internet Communication Technology] centres can be an effective vehicle to help women acquire literacy skills, numeracy skills and resources to help them start and build their own businesses, secure their livelihoods and become socially and politically active."
E-commerce is contributing to women’s empowerment in the craft sector. Here at Plume Collection, we meet new and interesting women artisans every day over the internet who are becoming more independent. The internet is providing them with visibility and the chance to produce real change in their lives and business. We're glad to be a part of that change!
written by Elena Schloss