Soap Making for Social Change

2017, September 27 – This month, the Huay So Women for Change group participated in a workshop on issues related to gender-based violence and gender equality. In this context the women conducted research on domestic violence in their area. They identified financial dependence as one of the most significant obstacles faced by women in their community – if a woman is in a violent relationship and has no money, no job, and no support network, then she has no way out. They decided to address this issue by establishing a small, local soap-making enterprise to become more financially independent and to support one another.

A few weeks later, the group reconvened in Huay So to dive into the next stage of their independent project – learning the skills they would need to start their soap-making enterprise. Led by Woman Leaders from the Women for Change pilot program and from last year’s project in Sathan sub-district, the two-day workshop covered the basics of how to make shampoo, hand wash, dish soap, laundry detergent, and bar soap. The women learned the correct proportions of each chemical, and how to add various natural ingredients for scent, color, and texture, such as tamarind, anchun flower, and lime.

The workshop was boisterous and informative, and the women left with their own soaps to take home, a new set of useful vocational skills, and some basic knowledge about business models to help them prepare to launch their enterprise. This ongoing project will promote skills and confidence, generate additional income, bolster women’s financial independence, promote safety and well-being, and help to reduce gender-based violence in Huay So.

If you are interested in getting involved by stocking soaps for resale or purchasing wholesale, please reach out to us at info@center4girls.org.

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