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The study documented gender participation, women’s textile-related activities contribution to household income, and women’s views of the textile industry in Baguio City and Benguet Province. Rapid market and municipal surveys were conducted, followed-up with informal in-depth interviews and case histories of some key players such as the thread and yarn suppliers, the weavers, knitters and manufacturers of textile-based products, the wholesalers and retailers of finished products, and farmers engaged in sericulture.
Women are the prime movers of the textile industry representing 97% of the textile players in Baguio City and Benguet Province. Women function as proprietors-managers of weaving, wholesaling and retailing enterprises, and as weaver-designers of woven fabrics and made-up products in addition to their responsibilities in household and food management, child care and education. Participation of women in textile industry-related activities contributes PhP750-70,000 per month to their household income which makes the women feel empowered, i.e. less dependent on husband’s income, stronger influence in household decisions and recognition of their talents.
The textile industry is a potential investment opportunity and employment for women and men, regardless of education, age and time involvement, and is presently more in the informal sector. It has an important role in the tourist economy of the city and province attracting worker migrants mostly from Mountain Province and Ifugao.