Empowering Women Through Tie-Dye

It all started of with a talk circulating among housewives who live near Titian’s CLC in South Tangerang (Titian Tangsel), aspiring something more in their lives beyond their mundane chores as housewives. They seem to have lost their own identity; they don’t know what they want, have little interaction with others, don’t know how to offer their opinion nor have confidence to speak in public.

Titian Tangsel and Soroptimist International of Jakarta (SIJ) saw this situation as an opportunity to contribute to the community and also pave the way for them to achieve their dreams by arranging a tie-dye workshop. We hoped this workshop could bring about a sense of independence and instill a stronger character for these women so they can become role models for their children and other women in their neighborhood.

The first tie-dye workshop was held at CLC Titian Tangsel on February 13th, 2018, where 20 women were jointly mentored by Titian Foundation and SIJ, facilitated by Ibu Tia and Ibu Juni who volunted as the workshop trainer. Ibu Juni is a women’s empowerment activist herself.

Six of the workshop participants took what they had just learned to another level by creating an entrepreneurial group. They named their group “Kartini”, and they will produce household products such as pouches, pillow cases, tissue pouches, bags, placemats etc. In addition, this group requested Ibu Tia mentor them, so that not only they learned about making tie-dye but also as individuals are equipped with character building so that their businesses have character too.

The struggle is real for these women. One of Kartini members, Ibu Inung, admits “At the beginning, I felt it was a heavy burden when everything had to be done on our own: managing the finances, looking for a market for our products, redoing faulty production, and to be disciplined on time keeping. But after three months, I see changes in me. I am starting to get the hang of it and slowly I can solve problems on my own.”

Kartini hopes what started off as a small venture can lead to something bigger and that their products will appeal to the market. (NF)