Berna Yagci is creating women's community centers in southeast Turkey where for the first time women may gather in a public space to learn and be trained to take leadership in improving their lives. She has established a concrete method of generating income through an official cooperative, Silk Road, where women produce handicrafts and artisan soaps. Her work gives women decision-making power in a 2,000-year old patriarchal culture that is still immersed in a century of military and political conflict.
An atelier is established to produce soap with local “bittim” oil by women in Mardin. On the other hand, the soap quality is improved by modernizing the traditional production methods and changing the soap content with natural materials. Now 15 women are in the production group and the income is used for the day care centers established in the low-income neighborhoods by our cooperative.