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Artisan Well celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016. In keeping with the organization’s objective of furthering the cause of Women’s Empowerment, this day was observed at the women’s skill development centre, situated in the rural areas in the suburbs of Calcutta.

In this centre, Artisan Well provides skill-training to 22 women in the production of simple leather products. The women, post-training will supply order-based leather products to Artisan Well, as a formal artisan-group.

The event started with a welcome speech by Mr. Kousic Bhattacharya, the Secretary of Artisan Well. This was followed by an opening song, sung by the women. The chief-guest on this occasion was Ms. Monica Herbst from ‘Contigo Fair Trade Gmbh’, who along with her daughter Ms. Greta Herbst was at that time visiting Artisan Well. Ms. Herbst, in her speech, spoke about the need for women to work, as a means of economic empowerment. This she felt, other than economic betterment, increased the socio-economic status and decision-making power of the women both within the family and the larger society. Contigo, she felt, would be happy the day the products produced by these women can be displayed at their shops bearing a paradigm of the quality, and of their production abilities.

The program also included a documentary film on the evils of female feticide and the need to generate awareness about the rights of women in this regard and the methods to combat the social stereotypes.

As a part of the program, the women were encouraged to talk about, as to how the skill-development had changed their lives and made them more confident to claim what was rightfully theirs. This has inspired many more women to look up to Artisan Well for training and post-training employment opportunities to better their lives.

The celebration ended with a cultural program organized by the women and their children, which was much appreciated. On this occasion, gifts for the women, as also snacks were provided by Artisan Well.