I was a Sari (IWAS) - a sustainable brand of accessories and apparel - CORP and CHIME FOR CHANGE have partnered together to help scale I was a Sari's programs, which provide embroidery training to vulnerable and disadvantaged women living in Mumbai. The embroidery training programs are a safe place for women, run by women. Participants learn new skills and earn a regular income, opening pathways to economic opportunities for women, their families, and their communities.
For residents of Mumbai's most disadvantaged and lowest-income neighborhoods, life is physically difficult. For women living in these places, life is doubly difficult. They are often bound into a subservient position by economic dependence, illiteracy and superstitions. Women are often confined to traditional roles in the home, taking care of their households. They have limited opportunities to express themselves, contribute financially to the family, or enjoy any form of independence.
To give Indian women new opportunities to earn an income and to motivate them to think differently about their futures, CORP and IWAS have partnered to provide training on various embroidery techniques. Women's empowerment through training represents both a goal and a method for CORP's work. It is an emancipation process in which underserved women are empowered to exercise their rights, make decisions for themselves, and actively participate in the process of shaping society.
IWAS and CORP's work provides regular income, dignity and access to opportunity for underserved women living in Mumbai. Over a period of two years, 200 women will receive training in embroidery and will start earning a fair salary. IWAS and CORP's work challenges gender norms surrounding labor like embroidery, which is considered men's work in India. As women develop their artistry, connect with other career-oriented women, and become entrepreneurs, they build new futures for themselves.