Darzah began with one goal in mind, empowering women in the West Bank. If not for the group of local mothers who approached us, voicing their desire for work, Darzah would not exist. This is why our mission to empower women will always be central in everything we do.
In the West Bank, unemployment rates for women are extremely high, affecting over 60% of this demographic. Many of these women have historically earned little to no income to help support their families. Darzah has helped to ease the burden for many of these women. Each of our artisans earns a living wage, well above the local minimum. With the income generated by working with us, our artisans are able to provide for themselves and their families. We ensure that every woman at Darzah knows her worth and feels confident to share her opinions. The income and community we’ve created has given our artisans the stability needed to create larger dreams for themselves and our organization.
There are numerous other barriers for Palestinian women trying to attain work, including the constraints of society and geography. It is not common for women in the area to have reliable means of transportation, meaning daily commutes can be an obstacle. We allow all of our artisans the choice of working from home, where they can work and care for their families simultaneously. Darzah delivers materials to these women so they have the freedom to earn income and fulfill personal responsibilities.
Darzah is always looking for ways to introduce new skills and trades to our artisans. In 2019, our six full-time workers participated in a six-month long course in leatherworking. Learning a new trade is both thrilling and rewarding for these women who are always excited to put their skills to use. This training means that some of our leather products, such as key fobs and bags, are now made start to finish by our women artisans. We are hoping to secure more funding soon to begin training in shoemaking and the next stages of leatherworking, taught through an 18-month long course.
Our commitment and dedication to women empowerment has been recognized both locally and internationally. The supportive nature of our organization has become well known in local communities, where new applications from women looking to join Darzah are being received each week. In addition to local recognition, our work has even been endorsed by the Fair Trade Federation. Our Fair Trade certification is a reflection of our promise to provide fair wages to our employees, implement sustainable manufacturing practices, and support marginalized communities.