Over the past year, more women than ever have stepped up to make their voices heard with the powerful waves of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter social movements. However, many women, particularly those in underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, still don’t have access to the same tools or platforms as the Western World. Millions of women in underdeveloped countries are still stuck in a cycle of under-representation that forces them to remain out of work, under-educated, physically punished and subservient to a system that silences their voices and forces them to remain anonymous in their struggles.
This is just one reason why Australian entrepreneur Danielle Chiel founded The Artisan Nation.
With her experience as founder of KOCO, Knit One (garment) Change One (life), a for-purpose business of hand-knitting experts working with fashion brands around the world (and developer of one of Australia’s largest knitting retailers) Chiel has always cared deeply about the empowerment of women, especially talented and ambitious female craftswomen in developing nations who are most often not given a voice or able to secure work to support their families. The Artisan Nation is a borderless nation of women committed to empowering one another, as well as sharing their struggles and stories. Not bound by geography, language, and culture, The Artisan Nation focuses on the creativity, passion, and talent of female creators from developing nations to connect with corporates in developed countries who care.
“In rural Indian villages, women have little or no formal education,” said Chiel. “They are smart, clever and have ambition, but because they do not have opportunities, they are stuck in a subservient, male-dependent, non-educated cycle,” she added.
Artisan Nation is changing that one village at a time, by finding corporate business who wish to support one village at a time
providing artisanal and hand-crafted work for women within the Nation’s network. This, in turn, guarantees that its members are well-fed, well-paid, and supported, and will no longer be anonymous in the development process of the products they create. The Nation’s ultimate goal is to help female creators and their supporters make up one global business community of female empowerment, which can be met by achieving the Nation’s three underlying goals:
One Nation, Three Goals
1. Growing Stronger
These artists cannot properly function, do their work, and raise their families unless they have access to modern healthcare and medicine. The Artisan Nation strives to improve nutrition and health at the grass-roots level, with priorities including the distribution of PPE and face masks in high-risk COVID-19 areas, enabling access to clean drinking water, and providing fresh, healthy food.
2. Unleashing Potential
In the process of empowering women, Artisan Nation seeks to provide access to services that will help grow self-awareness and decision-making skills to challenge culturally-entrenched ways of behaving and thinking that foster the cycle of disempowerment towards women in underserved cultural and ethnic groups. To promote this kind of change in perspective, the team engages dietitians, psychologists, physical movement leaders, and implements annual blood tests and medical personnel.
3. Attaining Work
The most important step in female empowerment is to build independence and create certainty for the artisans, their children, and their families. In order to promote professional stability and better opportunities, the workplaces created by The Artisan Nation focus on strong peer support networks to ensure independent thinking and confidence. In the end, they are able to empower women to make their own decisions and to be the ones in charge of their own lives. This is achieved through regular work, ensuring individual smartphone use and proficiency, and enhancing financial literacy in working women.
The Artisan Nation welcomes support for funding of their programs. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit https://theartisannation.com/.