Barcelona, 23 January, 2013. With the aim to discuss possibilities of cooperation in the field of women’s handicraft in the Euro-Mediterranean region, a meeting with representatives of civil society organisations active in the field from Morocco, Lebanon, Croatia, France, Tunisia and Spain was held yesterday at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, in Barcelona. The meeting was held in the framework of preparations for the Union for the Mediterranean project conference “Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment: Projects for Progress”, which will be held on 26-27 March 2014 in Barcelona. The field of women’s handicrafts is of essential importance as it effectively enhances women’s working skills and economic status, provides income generation, strengthens social inclusion, preserves cultural heritage and contributes to women’s overall empowerment.
The participants shared their views and ideas on advancing the socio-economic situation of women through activities related to handicrafts. They briefly presented their project proposals in major areas closely related to women handicrafts (education, production and distribution, access to finance, etc.) which have already been submitted to the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) for assessment and possible endorsement by the UfM Member States. Possible cooperation on a larger joint initiative in the field to support women in the Mediterranean region through concrete and tangible actions was also discussed between all the participants. Training and capacity building in the field of production, design, marketing, trade, communication, financing and networking were identified as priority components. The participants agreed to continue working on their project proposals and this joint initiative over the next months in an effort to contribute to an enhanced women’s presence in this particular field.