Today is International Women’s Day and this year the theme is #BalanceForBetter. So we are celebrating the COMMUNITY, DIGNITY, INDEPENDENCE and EMPOWERMENT that the female weavers in Kenya represent in a short films. This film takes you on a journey to Kenya and right into the heart of one of our biggest and most prolific weaving cooperatives – all women of the Kamba tribe.

The film shows how Female basket weavers in rural Kenya are empowering themselves and each other through cooperative work, giving them independence from their husbands and weaving a more gender equal future for their children.

We visit as many weaving groups as we can throughout the year – we took the footage for this film on a trip we took in 2017 - and we’re in daily communications with most cooperative chairladies during the dry seasons when weaving becomes a vital supplementary income. It’s crucial for us to build relationships with the people behind our baskets and to hear their stories, celebrate their skills and achievements.
We hope that you enjoy their stories, too. Please watch and enjoy – and by all means share.


In  the spirit of celebration, we’d also like to tell you a little bit about the incredible women we work with!

The art of weaving is passed down from Grandmother to Granddaughter, an age-old tradition and skill that enables modern flexible working in a traditional culture. Basket weaving is work that can be taken with you virtually anywhere.
The women come from farming backgrounds and like most rural Kenyan families are subsistence farmers. An increase in drought has seen more women turning to the art of basket weaving as a sustainable source of income. Many cooperatives weave together in community workshops where women are able to support and mentor one another.


“Being part of a weaving cooperative has given me more independence, even from my husband. He lets me go to the weaving group since he can see the benefit it brings.”  
- Peninah Nduku, (on the left) she is the treasurer of the Kenyan Weaving Cooperative. 
Meet Faith Nzau. She is a member of the Kenyan Weaving Cooperative, and we've worked with her since 2015.

“Before I joined our weaving cooperative, I used to rely on my husband for everything we needed at home. I felt I couldn’t even ask him for money for a new pair of shoes because there were just too many more important things that we needed first. But when I started weaving with our cooperative, I had the means to not only help support the family, but also to surprise my husband with new things for him, like a new hat or a pair of trousers.”


Meet Mbeti, Chairlady of the Kenyan Weaving Cooperative.

“For women, life has changed: they can put food on table, educate their children, and build decent houses. My husband encourages me most and supports in every step. Family members and the community appreciate the business as it supports many women.”

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The campaign is all about galvanising us to take collective action towards a more gender-balanced world and workplace through celebrating women's achievement and raising awareness against bias.




March 08, 2019

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