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When I look at what ‘ethical’ brands are doing there are many ways and impacts they could be making. Brands like Sseko Designs, Elegantees, and Darzah are intentional in chosing to employ women.
I have no experience being denied access to a space or told I wasn’t right for a job based on my sex. I should note here, plently of women still experience blantant sexism, just listen to Taylor Swift’s new song The Man, the double standard is astounding.
Darzah was created with one goal in mind, empowering women in the West Bank. If it wouldn’t have been for a group of local mothers that approached our non-profit, Childs Full Cup, and voicing their desire for work, Darzah simply wouldn’t exist. That is why their mission to empower women will always be central to everything that they do.
Unemployment rates for young women in the West bank are extremely high, affecting over 60% of the population. Darzah aims to provide training and job opportunities for some of the most marginalized individuals by working with women in the northern region specifically, where poverty rates are especially high. There are numerous barriers to work for Palestinian women, including constraints of traditional society and geography. It is not particularly common for women to have reliable means of transportation, making daily commutes particularly difficult. All of their artisans have unique situations that make daily commuting and a normal 9-5 schedule difficult.
For example, one is also a college student, one is a single mother, and one has been sent to live with family in a remote village. To combat these hindrances, all of the Darzah artisans can choose to work from home, with materials and training delivered to them personally by our lead artisan, Rahaf. This allows our artisans to fulfill their familial roles and personal responsibilities, while also earning an income.
Each of their artisans earns a living wage, well above the local minimum. With the income generated by working with Darzah, these women are better able to provide for themselves and their families. Darzah makes sure that every woman working with Darzah knows her value and feels comfortable and confident sharing her opinions. That is why there is no hierarchy amongst the artisans. All are treated as equals, and as such, are encouraged to make decisions as a group. This income and community creates added stability that has led our artisan to create larger dreams for not only themselves but also this organization.
Each Darzah creation is made from start to finish by these talented artisans in the West Bank, Palestine. The Darzah team has now grown to include 6 full-time artisans and 22 part-time artisans from Zababdeh and its neighboring villages. These artisans specialize Palestinian “tatreez” embroidery, a centuries-old art form, historically passed down from mother to daughter. Traditionally, each embroidery motif holds significant meaning. In this way, Tatreez embroidery is something of a Palestinian cultural phenomenon, sharing stories through every stitch.
Shop these amazing hand embroidered pieces, Here