Bangladeshi Women Gain Financial Independence By Knitting Muslim Prayer Caps.
(Source By Arabnews)
In the Bogura district, more than 250,000 women work in the Tupi skullcap industry.
Exports are becoming more and more profitable, with the majority going to Pakistan,
India, and the Gulf.
Shiuli Khatun joins other women in the village of Kashiabala in northern
Bangladesh after finishing her daily household duties. There, they gather around
baskets filled with yarn to knit prayer caps, which is their primary export and a
means of achieving female financial independence.
Khatun, now 35, began studying the craft from her mother when she was
15 years old. She can make about $50 a month from the side job.
Women work to make prayer caps in every home in this community because
it gives them a sizable opportunity to make money.
She and her neighbors from Kashiabala are two of the hundreds
of thousands of women who work in the Bogura district and produce Tupi,
the Bengali word for Muslim skullcaps.
According to Jewel Akand, president of the Bangladesh Jali Tupi Association,
the district contributes about one-third of the nation’s output.
He claimed that, while this handicraft industry employs between 800,000
and 1 million women nationwide, only the Bogura region has between
250,000 and 300,000 village women working in cap production.
The industry has prospered since manufacturers started exporting the
caps to Gulf nations in the early 2000s.
Around 150 businesses operate in Bogura, and Akand’s company,
Jewel Cap Depo, exports 250,000 prayer caps each month to Saudi Arabia,
the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, India, and Pakistan.
It changed the lives of many village women, he said. Our export market
demand is increasing yearly. It happened as a result of the excellent
craftsmanship of our handcrafted prayer caps. The number of women
we employ to make caps will rise if the current trend continues.
Using hand-knitted Muslim prayer caps, rural Bangladeshi women gain
When Farida Parveen was six years old, other Kashibala women taught
her how to knit. She is now 30 years old.
I used to sit next to my neighbors while they knit the caps, so I picked up
this skill from them. It is not very challenging. The need for patience, though,
She now takes her six-year-old daughter on frequent trips.
As a villager, I look after about a dozen cattle every day. In addition,
we keep pigeons and chickens at home. I spend my time making caps
once these tasks are finished.
Parveen, a mother of three, can make $0.17 to $0.27 per cap.
She claimed that selling the caps to wholesale buyers would bring in
between $50 and $60 per month. This small amount of extra money helps
me a lot in my efforts to pay for my kids’ education.