Tuesday, May 13, 2008

microfinance in Iraq

from the Coalition's website - on the microcredit programs in Iraq, the sewing co-ops they create, and their benefits in terms of restoring connectivity and relationships within villages.

It is sort of propaganda ... but it raises some interesting questions. Who is buying the stuff these sewing co-ops produce? Are the goods being shipped out of the villages or out of the country? Presumably the co-op members are not buying their own things. Although maybe they are.

Also, isn't this kind of keeping women on the pink-collar track? Is learning to participate in a sewing co-op really helping women become more involved in the political process? I don't have a problem with the idea of a sewing co-op, but it's misleading to lump all positive goals into one initiative ... if your goal is increased female presence in the government, then having women start sewing co-ops seems like a roundabout way of getting there. Of course, maybe this is just a more holistic way of looking at "women's empowerment" ... but I fail to see the connections.

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