Manipur is one of the most conflict affected state of Northeast India. The conflict in Manipur has been one of the most persistent in the Northeast. Over 20,000 have died due to ongoing violence in state. According to the Government of India Press Information Bureau, between 2005 and 2012 the poverty ratio in Manipur declined by only one percentage point. Due to the ongoing conflict, around 300 widows are made in Manipur every year.
Handloom and handicraft industry is the largest cottage industry of the Manipur. This industry has been flourishing since time immemorial. One of the special features of the industry is that women are the only weavers. Among the womenfolk, handloom cloth weaving is the traditional occupation of the state.
Although Manipur has skilled women artisans in the handloom and handicraft sector most of them remain very poor (90 % of them are below poverty line) the main reasons being inaccessible or lacking linkages to domestic and international market space. Most for the product made by the women are for domestic market which that normally sales at Imphal market and to immediate locality. Since the market space is limited the profit margin remain restricted and limited another problem is that most of the product are local base and have less attractively to domestic and international market.
To provide livelihood support and market linkages to vulnerable women artisans affected by the protracted armed violence in Manipur, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network in collaboration with Control Arms Foundation of India has launched this Mothers-bazaar.com. Mothers-bazaar.com is an e-Commerce portal to showcase the magic and beauty of Manipuri weaving in its multifaceted hues to the world outside. It is a platform to share the brilliance of craftsmanship of the Manipur weavers. It is one stop online shopping platform for Manipuri products. Here in this website, we showcase products produced by women survivors and traditional products made by vulnerable and marginalized women artisans of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network.Mothers-bazaar.com has a wide array of products that range from Manipuri ethnic pure designer hand work. It is a platform to share the richness of weaving and design patterns evolved through many centuries in this weaving region with its own historical dynamics and stories to reveal.
Mothers-bazaar.com is serving to meet the demand and supply chain for the unique weaving products. This platform of the weavers, for the weavers and by the weavers, is managed by Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network a common platform for women survivors.
Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and the Control Arms Foundation of India was formed to help women whose lives have been changed dramatically by violence in Northeast India particularly Manipur; to find solutions to end the ongoing violence and to provide a space for women to take a leading role in gender sensitive peace and security advocacy efforts. The Network has been working in 300 villages with women survivors of violence that belongs to the most vulnerable and marginalized section of both hills and valleys of Manipur mostly widows. The network is providing humanitarian and livelihood support in a varied ways by imparting trainings, capacity building and handholding for the last 7 years. The network has several skilled and trained women in handloom and handicraft sector has established Women Run Production Centre for weavers and bamboo craft group in Imphal, Bishnupur and Chandel Districts of Manipur. CAFI and MWGSN’s Humanitarian efforts have been recognized through several awards such as Sean McBride Peace Prize 2010, CNN IBN Real Heroes Award 2011 and Femina Women Achievers Awards 2015.