The Problematics of Gender and Power in Lumban Traditional Hand Embroidery

Embroidery provides meaningful discoveries through interactions and relations connected in the lived experiences of women hand embroiderers. A woman’s performance of her embroidery skills indicates the intimate connection of her womanhood, her daily life, and the kind of labor and effort she places upon it. Interviews, focus group discussions, and creative workshop reveal that social conditions from the past to the present, allow her to continuously construct her identity and negotiate her role in society. Embroidery has offered the women in this study an opportunity to create not only their identity as individuals but also as a community, and has helped them develop their capacities beyond realizing their womanhood. The presence of the problematics of gender and power is evident through the obvious contradictions of the empowered under disempowering conditions thus rendering their power and empowerment, symbolic.