Empowering women through ‘Banat Oman’

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Muscat: More than 300 Omani girls have been trained to make traditional handicraft products under the programme ‘Banat Oman’. The programme highlights the potential of Omani women by training girls to enable them to secure a financial return by establishing a group of small and medium local enterprises that preserve Omani handicrafts.

“Till now, more than 300 women have benefited from the programme with a plan to add an additional 300 in 2019, ”said Hanan Saif Al Rumhi, head of social investment at Petroleum Development Oman.

“The company sponsored a number of projects in different crafts and skills based on market survey. The women are then enrolled in training programmes to improve these skills and develop their own small businesses,” she added.

“The support includes covering the cost of the training programmes and marketing these products and small businesses through a contracted Omani SME to manage the overall management of order and sales.”

The girls are trained to manufacture a variety of products including wood, textile, jam, sewing, cheese, natural soap from the green mountain, frankincense products, bags, tassels.

“The training programmes range from handicrafts and silver products to recycled bags and dairy products. The aim is to improve the trainer in such skills that are in market demand to achieve sustainable income for women,” she said.

“The training period ranges from one month to six months depending on the skills or programmes the ladies are enrolled in. Our most recent programme was to train a number of ladies in industrial sewing,” Hanan Al Rumhi added.

“We are in constant contact with Omani women’s associations to identify the workshops needed by girls in different governorates in the Sultanate to train them to make products that are in demand by consumers,” Yahya Al Hajri said.

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