Women-run cooperative creates jobs and ensures the rights of ethnic minority women in Ha Giang

Since its establishment in 2017, the Lanh Trang (White Flax) Cooperative in Sa Phin Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province, has become an effective economic development model, helping eliminate hunger and reduce poverty in the locality while contributing to enhancing the role and ensuring the rights of local ethnic minority women.
Vang Thi Cau introduces typical products of White Flax Cooperative

Sung Thi Si, a member of the cooperative, recalled that her family was so poor that she had to borrow money from others many times.

Due to economic difficulties, the atmosphere in the family was tense and tiring, with spouses often having quarrels. Even worse, sometimes her husband went out and got drunk, then came home and scolded and hit her and the children for no reason.

In a hope to earn more money to support his family, Si's husband Vang Mi Lu followed others across the border to work illegally, but he had to leave with empty hands. The family's situation became even more miserable.

In 2017, Sung Thi Si was encouraged to join Lanh Trang Cooperative by Vang Thi Cau, who was Vice President of Dong Van District Women's Union and also the founder of the Cooperative.

This marked a turning point by helping Si obtain a stable job.

In the beginning, Si and other members in the cooperative earned a monthly income of 1.5-1.8 million VND. Now the figure has reached 3-5 million VND.

Thanks to the stable income, her family's life has gradually improved. Following his wife, Vang Mi Lu joined the cooperative and is now a very active and responsible member.

Lanh Trang Cooperative is established to help ethnic women change their lives from the Mong ethnic people’s traditional craft of flax planting and linen weaving. (Photo: thoidai.com.vn)

Sung Thi Si is one of many H'Mong women whose lives have truly changed thanks to the Lanh Trang Cooperative. Not only have they earnt their own stable income, the women in the cooperative have gained confidence in life as their voice has been respected in the family and in the community, thus domestic violence has been gradually eliminated.

Vang Thi Cau said that the goal of Lanh Trang Cooperative is to generate jobs for local women, promote gender equality, and help them being respected and loved.

By establishing Lanh Trang Cooperative, Vang Thi Cau want to help ethnic women change their lives from the Mong ethnic people’s traditional craft of flax planting and linen weaving.

At the beginning, the cooperative mobilised 10 Mong ethnic women. It is worth mentioning that most of the women were victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, or those living in difficult circumstances.

Vang Thi Cau asked the District People's Committee to allocate nearly 200 hectares of land for the cooperative to grow flax and applied for loan support from the Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Following the motto “Slowly but surely”, the cooperative operates in a closed chain from self-supply of raw materials to about 40 production stages such as peeling, spinning flax, spinning, weaving, steaming, dyeing, drawing patterns, and embroidery.

Lanh Trang Cooperative has more than 70 lines of handmade brocade products imbued with their ethnic cultural identity (Photo: VOV)

Vang Thi Cau and members of the cooperative have been active in improving their product design and quality to better meet customer needs. They have also exerted efforts to promote and introduce their products at fairs, tourist destinations, and village markets.

Currently, the cooperative has more than 70 lines of handmade brocade products imbued with their ethnic cultural identity, of which the most popular items are raw linen cloth and square pillowcases.

Some products of the cooperative have received certification under the One Commune, One Product (OCOP) programme.

Lanh Trang Cooperative's products are not only well appreciated in the domestic but also exported to foreign markets. This opens up more development opportunities for local traditional products as well as contributes to creating more jobs for ethnic minority women, especially those living in difficult circumstances.