This issue of SEEDS presents the Markala Cooperative, which resulted from the resolution of a group of poor women in rural Mali to seek paid employment. When the twenty original members joined together in 1975, their goals were to earn a regular salary and to learn marketable skills. By 1981, the women had established a successful cooperative business based on the production and sale of dyed cloth and laundry soap. The experience of the Markala women has already inspired other cooperative businesses in rural Mali, and it has also demonstrated that creating off-farm employment opportunities for women is a vital element of rural development projects.
Daughman, Susan and Mariam N'Diaye Thiam. 1982. "The Markala Cooperative: A new approach to traditional economic roles," SEEDS no. 5. New York: Population Council.