Putting ICTs to work for Egyptian women artisans
By AL for APC
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 30 July 2008
Handicrafts are an income-generating activity for many women in Egypt, but as producers these women often receive the lowest profit in the trading chain. This is why women artisans and organisations that support them asked ArabDev to help them find ways to market their goods online.
ArabDev conducted a market study that showed that the global crafts market is a highly competitive arena, both in price and quality, and that exporting is not a realistic option for most Egyptian female artisans. For larger numbers of low-income women to benefit from ICT-supported marketing, they would need to be organised in a collective enterprise that handles the various stages of product design, quality control and marketing.
In the meantime, however, ICTs can be useful tools to promote quality standards, generate creative design ideas and give local craftswomen a taste of global wares so that they have more incentives to improve their crafts for the local market. The study, which is being shared with relevant stakeholders, found that the most promising market for local craftswomen would be a domestic outlet, and ICTs have an important role to play in this scenario.