Rwamagana women basket weavers in need of a market

Eastern province RWAMAGANA - A women’s weaving cooperative, Agaseke Kurukundo, in Rwamagana District has appealed to authorities to assist them sell their products from a market. Speaking to The New Times, the members said marketing is their biggest challenge.
Women weaving the precious AGASEKE. (Photo S Rwembeho)
Women weaving the precious AGASEKE. (Photo S Rwembeho)

Eastern province
 
RWAMAGANA - A women’s weaving cooperative, Agaseke Kurukundo, in Rwamagana District has appealed to authorities to assist them sell their products from a market.
Speaking to The New Times, the members said marketing is their biggest challenge.

“We have not gained much since we started this cooperative just because we don’t have a proper channel of selling our products. We need some volunteers or sponsors to market and sell our baskets.

We need money to buy raw materials for example,” appealed Marie Ufitikirezi one of the members. 

She noted that that the sky is the limit in their efforts to economically empower women. 

“The problem rural women experience is over reliance on husbands to make ends meet.

The Rwandan history and tradition have been against us, and never allowed us to go to school for instance. We are thus under looked by our spouses just because they are the sole bread winners.

Our cooperative’s main aim thus is to reverse this trend,” added Ufitikirezi. 

According to the district’s cooperative officer, many women are encouraged to join the weaving cooperative, not only for commercial purposes but because of its traditional linkages attached to baskets.  

“Weaving started long time in the Rwandan culture by our elders, and they encouraged us to continue with it because it improves on the up bringing of the young generation in Rwanda,” Ufitikirezi added. 

The cooperative started 2007, with 257 members, which has since drastically reduced, due to lack of membership fees.

The cooperative has only 20 members because some pulled out after failing to raise Rwf30,000 membership fee.

The basket industry is one of the fast growing industries in Rwanda, and has improved women’s standard of living in many rural areas of Rwanda, according to authorities.

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