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Ghor Safi women revive ancient Jordanian dye to produce homemade textile, accessories

UNESCO, Drosos Foundation ‘plant seeds of success’ with local empowerment project

By JT - Mar 21,2019 - Last updated at Mar 21,2019

In this undated, members of the Safi Crafts project pose for a photo. The project produces homemade textiles using a blue dye, which used to be cultivated in Jordan during (Photo courtesy of UNESCO)

AMMAN — Under the patronage of Social Development Minister Basma Ishaqat, the Drosos Foundation and UNESCO Amman on Thursday launched the Safi Crafts line of handmade, eco-friendly textiles and accessories, which were made by women from the Ghor Safi village and will be sold in 20 stores across Jordan.

The launch was part of a long-term project run by UNESCO, entitled “Empowering rural women and increasing resilience in the Jordan Valley”. According to a statement sent by UNESCO, the project aimed to help women empower themselves by supporting a local women’s cooperative and leveraging culture for sustainable development.

One of the highlights of the project, according to organisers, was the re-introduction of “Indigofera tinctoria”, a natural blue dye that was cultivated in Jordan during ancient times and revived today by the women of the Safi Crafts project. 

UNESCO Representative to Jordan Costanza Farina congratulated the Safi Crafts women on their hard-earned success.

“We know that women perform an average of two-and-a-half times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. While this work is of great importance to families, societies and economies, it leads to lower earnings and less time for women to engage in paid employment. In spite of these obstacles, the women of Safi Crafts have gone above and beyond... in balancing their competing tasks,” Costanza said.

On behalf of Minister Ishaqat, Mohammad Osheibat from the Ministry of Social Development addressed the audience, expressing pride in “the work the women of Ghor Safi are doing”.

Following a video featuring testimonials from the project’s women, President of Safi Crafts Nayfeh Nawashreh shared her personal reflections, saying that “the women of Ghor Safi have become business women and are helping to develop the Jordan Valley”. 

“The seeds have been planted and we will keep caring for them,” she noted.

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