The artisans at WARE like to say they're like a family – without the fights. These 27 artisans truly enjoy working together and have organized their workspace to run smoothly, efficiently, and fairly. They also are enthusiastic participants in the various programs, going together to meetings and working as a group on community projects.
Many of these women have experienced conflict and contempt in the past, including parents who did not think they needed an education or who forced them into early marriages, not to mention the many ways girls and women are belittled in a patriarchal culture. At WARE, they have a space that supports them, values their opinions, and accepts differences.
Sujata, the embroidery supervisor, says that she had not really known what respect was. She had given certain people the "respect" they demanded, but she realized that this was just being submissive out of fear and custom. Real respect involves caring about people's feelings and rights. At WARE, she found that people thought her opinions mattered, and when she was promoted to supervisor, she felt the group's approval and support.
Another artisan, Deepika, felt that respect meant other people believing in you and encouraging you to do more than you might have attempted on your own. She was given the opportunity to attend Mindfulness training and now she shares by conducting sessions for the other members. The WARE artisans also display mutual respect through their celebrations. They remember everyone's birthday with a cake, observe the different religious festivals, and celebrate national holidays. Even WARE's birthday, the day they moved into their permanent home, is celebrated.