, women are primarily responsible for household tasks as part of their daily routines. It is widely understood that they are to remain within the boundaries of the house. Their contributions to productive economy and income generation have been overlooked by most segments of the society. Despite their impressive artisan skills, Pakistani women have struggled to compete with global handicraft markets which were not possible except through patronage.
Community World Service Asia has taken a stride towards empowering rural women through enhancing their craft skills and introducing them to the urban markets for them to become stronger economic agents. To further this cause, a brand Taanka has officially been launched in Lahore at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) last week. The promotion continues as a two day Crafts Festival was celebrated in connection with the launch of Taanka at PFDC in Lahore. In collaboration with the Centre for Culture and Development (CKU), the event was organized with an aim of reviving traditional handicrafts while empowering rural women with a sustainable income as well.
The Crafts festival in Karachi this weekend was organized primarily to promote our national arts, crafts, and literature to the public of Karachi through retail stalls, live demonstrations of craft production, cultural performances and talent exhibits, and briefings about Taanka vision. The wide variety of attractions was showcased to a broad cross-section of the public, to maximize the exposure of the products to as diverse a customer as possible.
A range of products were exhibited, including a special display of high-fashion products alongside more casual apparel to attract a wide customer base, including handicrafts, apparel, jewelry, ceramics and pottery and home décor. The crafts festival also engaged other traditional links through various performances of folk singers including Mai Dhai, Shazia Khushk, Bhit Shah Group and few others. There was storytelling, puppet shows and games for children, making the festival one of its kind and engaging.
A large number of people came to the festival including entrepreneurs, students, media houses, bloggers and other professionals. Platforms like these are increasing the provision of financial resources through the establishment of handicrafts value chain. It is also maximizing the outreach of rural women to urban markets, thus improving their standard of living and increasing the rural economic growth.