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Empowering Women: SEPALIM Women's Groups

Written by Stella Gryler

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Posted on January 20 2021

CPALI women's group with wild silk hats

Part of our work with local communities focuses on establishing livelihood and leadership opportunities specifically for women. Our women's groups in each community choose their own leadership, delegate responsibilities among themselves and function as a highly effective team to produce silkworm rearing equipment, process the silk, and sew the final products. In addition, every member of our women's groups is also a silk farmer and produces silk. Today, nearly 50% of our farmers are women.

another CPALI women's group, sitting in matching SEPALI t-shirts

Women working on the CPALI wild silk project have an opportunity to earn money in three ways: by weaving baskets from natural materials for silkworm breeders, by producing silk, and by processing and sewing the silk into a final product.

Weaving

CPALI woman weaving basket

In order to rear wild silk sustainably, CPALI must rely on natural materials and innovative designs. Thanks to our skilled women's groups, we are producing a whole line of natural equipment including rearing baskets, chrysallide baskets and locally sewn rearing nets.

Organizing Silkworm Baskets

women organizing rearing basket distribution

The silkworm rearing equipment is used by each farmer on a loan-to-own basis. CPALI buys the equipment from the women's groups and supplies them to our new members. Then each farmer either works off their debt through silk production or returns the equipment to CPALI

Sewing the Textile

CPALI women sewing cocoon silk textiles

Our main product is a flat, non-spun textile that is sold by the meter. The CPALI women's groups sew the silk cocoons with machines available at our training site. This gives us an important opportunity for training, teamwork and bonding. Our newer product line also makes production possible at home.

Finished Textile

CPALI women standing with completed textile

When each batch of textile is finished, our women and the SEPALI staff proudly present their work before shipping it off to Ta'na'na Silk to be marketed around the world.

 

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