Association for Craft Producers
Meera Bhattarai started her career at the Nepal Women's Organization. After 10 years she had become increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy, corruption and mistreatment by government staff towards the poor, particularly women. She resigned her position to set up ACP, to improve the situation of the Nepalese poor. Since then, Bhattarai has focused on three major systemic changes needed to improve how handicraft businesses are run: ensure product portfolios meet international quality and design standards; reintroduce ancient crafts; and organize women with families and farming responsibilities into a reliable workforce.
ACP is not just a cooperative, but a catalyst for women’s empowerment by offering female craft workers fair income earning opportunities. While there is nothing new about traditional handicraft as a source of income, ACP’s engagement with local producers acts as a cornerstone of its model and the reason for its success. Women’s earnings from the sales of crafts are an important part of their household economy. Such income has brought increased support and respect from their husbands and fathers, given them a greater voice in household decisions and an increased determination to educate their children, especially their daughters.