Friday, December 21, 2012

Women's Cooperatives

While in Morocco, we saw lots of Women's Cooperative businesses. Although citizens do enjoy a good quality of life, there doesn't seem to be any provision for the assistance of folks who are on the fringes of self-sufficiency, such as disabled or widowed people.
Most of the people on our tour were women and everyone seemed to really want to support these cooperatives. While bargaining for the best prices is part of the fun of shopping in Morocco, nobody bargained too forcefully at the ladies co-ops.
Call me suspicious, but when we went to a place where Berber rugs are made, I got a little suspicious of the Women's Cooperative schtick. See, the men did all the talking. The men did all the bargaining. The men had all the contact with people. Meanwhile, the ladies were sitting in the corner, behind a loom, unsmiling. (See her behind the loom?)
Frankly, I wasn't even expecting to SEE a man in the women's co-op; I'm sure they don't work there for free. Besides, if I were a Muslim selling goods to westerners, I think that "Women's Cooperative" would be a perfect marketing term . . .

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