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Fair trade organization gives women jobs, freedom in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The Association for Craft producers is working to change the male-dominated society of Nepal by providing jobs and education for women. ACP is a fair trade organization, and women make up ninety percent of their 1,000 employees.

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The Association for Craft producers is working to change the male-dominated society of Nepal by providing jobs and education for women. ACP is a fair trade organization, and women make up ninety percent of their 1,000 employees.

Gayatri Humazain works in the design unit at ACP. Her job not only provides income, but independence. The money she earns supports her family and gives her sons a brighter future.

“My relatives are not getting a good education back in the villages,” said Humazain. “But my sons are on the right track for their education because I have been here at ACP.”

Laxmi Maharjan, a traditional weaver, said her job at ACP gave her confidence to speak for herself. Since working with ACP she has been able to lift her family out of poverty. Now there are 30 weavers employed in her village, and Maharjan’s husband even works for her.

Executive Director of ACP Meera Bhatarai says employment has changed the lives of these women.

“When they have money in their hand, they have a say in the family, they have a say in society, and they gain respect. Life becomes suddenly meaningful for her.”

Megan Murnane is a senior at Washington State University and was sent to Nepal in January through the Backpack Journalism program at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. The trip is funded through donors to the program. Three other students - Megan Abundis, Bethany Bloomer, and Ben Wineman - also were sent on this trip.

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