Over the course of history, the production of high-quality craftsmanship quickly evolved to incorporate the profound involvement of women, resulting in the creation of exclusively female clusters of artisanal production around the world.
Female artisanal practice is frequently a propeller of social and territorial cohesion, where artisans take on central roles, serving as pillars of community and family structures that strongly contribute towards social organization and survival. Their unique standing as highly skilled workers with exceptional knowledge, who are largely home or community-based, places them in a unique position to promote cohesive structural development and produce systems of adaptability to the changes we are witnessing.
Taking into consideration the increase of migration flows and the subsequent inevitable confrontation of cultural differences, women artisans can play a fundamental role in terms of establishing new models of integration. The development and sharing of different artisanal practices, brought from varying points of origin, can represent important community building blocks, functioning as new ways of promoting cultural exchange and fostering social and economic integration.
The dimension of female artisanal practices, creating impacts at the levels of social and economic local development, represents a promising strategy to counteract desertification and regional inequalities, establishing an essential balancing response to the exponential growth of urban centres.
Following the development of woman-based theories, central to the spread of important gender-equality narratives, the role of women as active and creative operators in the universe of crafts has become equal to that of men. However, our knowledge and understanding of the true nature and scope of these communities is still limited and in urgent need of further research.