Indian woman holds fabric in her hands laughing

Here are some strategies to help enhance craftswomen's efforts to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

Patronize retailers who post the Fair Trade Federation symbol - and ask others how much of the retail price goes to the producer.

Learn how international development and trade policies affect indigent artisans and, if you do not feel they are fair and effective, lobby your policy makers.

Use the Resources for Action section of In Her Hands; it lists people and organizations, books, articles and reports that will help you learn more.

Contribute to institutions that help low incomce women generate income. The authors of In Her Hands support the following organizations and hope you will too.

Association for Women's Rights in Development  builds cooperation among development and human rights researchers, practitioners, policymakers and activists around the world.

Women's Thrive Worldwide (formerly Women's Edge) is a dynamic coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to ensuring that U.S. International aid and trade programs work for women.


Global Fund for Women is the largest foundation in the world (and the only one in the U.S.) that focuses exclusively on international women's issues. The Global Fund provides seed funding to support the activities of women's groups overseas that are working on critical women's issues such as gaining economic independence, increasing girls' access to education, and reducing violence against women



Freedom from Hunger fights chronic hunger and poverty with self-help programs that combine credit and education. Freedom from Hunger provides small, short-term loans to low-income women worldwide, at the same time educating those borrowers about health, nutrition and managing micro-businesses more effectively and profitably.

Aid to Artisans offers practical assistance to artisans world-wide, working in partnerships to foster artistic traditions, cultural vitality and community well-being through training and collaboration in product development, production and marketing.


More Actions you can take -

  1. To help an abused woman learn entrepreneurial skills and obtain microenterprise loans in 6 countries that are not among the 12 included in In Her Hands, visit:

  2. View Save the Children's excellent new report titled: State of the World's Mothers 2011. The Save the Children's report demonstrates the ways that children's well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of their mothers:

  3. Friendship Bridge operates microenterprise credit programs for 2500 indigent women in Guatemala and distributes 1600 scholarships to borrowers' children for school tuition and supplies. The organization offers two trips a year so visitors can observe their microenterprise projects.

  4. The Heifer Project International serves 115 countries and runs a special program for women: Women Helping Women Overcome Poverty: Women in Livestock Development (WILD), which gives women farm animals as well as training in leadership, community development and environmentally sound farming.

  5. Zimbabwe Artists Project is a nonprofit that markets art made by the rural women in Weya who are featured in the Zimbabwe chapter of In Her Hands. ZAP helped the artists start a cooperative, assists with bookkeeping, transports artists and supplies. Find out more by visiting their website.

  6. Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) has, since 1984, established more than 12,000 village banks in 21 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, so low-income women can arrange micro-loans. Twenty-two percent of their small loans are taken by women producing products, including crafts. Ten percent of the net proceeds from the arrangements you order from 1-800-Flowers will go to FINCA.

  7. Global Partnerships Microenterprise Fund links individuals and businesses with programs in Latin America, providing credit and other tools that help people attain economic self sufficiency. This nonprofit organization offers PartnerTrips to potential donors.

  8. Turtlewill provides medical, economic and education aid to help traditional people in remote areas preserve both culture and dignity. A donation of $1500 is enough to start a craft cooperative in Mauritania, Niger or Mali.

  9. PAVA Foundation works in the Guatemala highlands, helping communities obtain everything from women’s education to water. PAVA Vice President/Co-founder Vey Smithers is featured in In Her Hands’ chapter, Benita and the Weaver’s. Almost 100% of all donations go to projects.

  10. Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation is a way to give back to the people and places this adventure travel company visits in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Tibet. Travelers can donate a day of community service as they visit community projects such as craft

  11. This idea won’t feed people but it will feed spirits. Art photographer Penny Bauer has created black-and-white images of women’s hands holding gifts of wisdom—a beautiful interpretation of In Her Hands. Without charge, you can design and send an e-card using a picture from Penny’s collection.