Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Basket Weaving Inspires Rwandan Women

The 1994 Rwandan genocide left the country's population 70% female. Since then, Rwanda has had the most gender-equal parliament in the world. Women can also own land and can legally have a separate bank account from their husband's. Since the genocide women have also begun to become entrepreneurs in order to rebuild their country. In a partnership with US company Macy's, Rwandan company Gahaya Links, run by two sisters, has begun to financially empower women. Gahaya Links employs 4,000 women to weave baskets which are then sold to Macy's. Each basket takes four days to weave and is sold for $46. Workers take home $8 of that. Many men have been inspired to follow their wives in the craft, doubling family incomes. Gahaya Links has also worked to empower Rwandan women to start their own businesses.

- Clara Hill