Ima Market: Imphal, Manipur
Ima Market means mothers market in English.
Ima market is located in the middle of Imphal in the Indian state of Manipur
Ima Market is the only market in the world run entirely by women
Inside Ima market, male shopkeepers and vendors are not allowed to sell anything
Ima Market was established in the 16th century and hosts around 5,000–6,000 women vendors who sell a variety of products.
Products such as vegetables, fruits, textiles, toys, fish, spices and utensils are available in the market
Ima Market is the largest all–women market in Asia
was a forced labour system in Manipur Kingdom which required male members of the Meitei ethnicity to work in distant lands or to serve in the army
As a consequence of the system, women had to support their households by cultivating their fields or weaving textiles and then selling the products on improvised markets.
In 2010, Ima market was moved into the Khawairamband Bazaar complex constructed by the Municipal Corporation of Imphal.
The complex had sustained damaged in the 2016 Imphal earthquake which effected the livelihood of around 800 vendors.
Ima Market is located west of Kangla Fort and on the Bir Tikendrajit Road in the Thangal Bazar locality.
Ima market is managed by a union of all the vendors of the market
Ima market maintains a custom of only allowing women who have been married at least once to set up stalls
The women vendors at Ima Market include those who are divorced or have been widowed
The Ima Market union also runs a credit system for lending to women traders