Watch our talk with Irthi Contemporary Craft Council about empowering women through craft

Dezeen teamed up with Irthi Contemporary Craft Council to host a panel discussion exploring how contemporary design can help to empower local artisans and craftswomen in the UAE.

Based in Sharjah – one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates – the Irthi Contemporary Craft Council runs programmes that aim to support and empower local female artisans and craftswomen across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast and Central Asia.

Together with a network of international architects, designers and artists, the council works with female makers at a local level to give them the means, knowledge and market insight to support themselves through their craft, while also preserving the region’s craft traditions for future generations.

In 2019, the council presented their first collection of design objects in an exhibition during London Design Festival.

The council paired 12 international designers and architects with 40 female Bedouin artisans living on the east coast of Sharjah to create a collection of products using ancient craft techniques from the region.

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