In 2016 the United Nations Development Program funded a study on the production of lokta paper and allo (a plant fiber used for carpet making and other craft processes in Nepal). Most of the laborious task of lokta and allo manufacturing is done by women's organizations.
"Women, either as workers or as entrepreneurs, play important roles whether is is [lokta] collection, cleaning, grading, making paper and finished products or exporting. Over 70 percent of the workers are women and over 85 percent are based in mountain villages. These mountain villages are often extremely impoverished and lack basic health and education services. Research has shown that an expansion of the industry could push employment to well over 40,000 people. This substantial growth area means that it could have a significant impact by increasing the incomes and livelihoods of many rural communities, especially women who are already involved in aspects of value addition (NTIS 2010)....
Women empowerment is an important development agenda [in Nepal]. The increasing realization that ensuring women participation in economic activities leads to improved development outcomes has raised the profile of this agenda; it has been owned by both national and international actors. Nepal new Constitution guarantees basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including women's rights. Nepal has undertaken national and international obligations to promote gender equality. International communities are also positively contributing in the national efforts towards promoting gender equity."
Admittedly, this is a dense, scientific research article. The depth of information is fascinating for anyone interested in under-supplied rural communities and economic development:
DharmaShop proudly not only carries many lokta products, we also use it as our packing wrap when shipping and to make boxes for many of our products. The ability to take deep, rich color is one of the many wonderful attributes of lokta paper. Please visit some of these fine handmade items below:
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