Empowering Women Through Fair Trade

Empowering Women Through Fair Trade

Opening Doors

Women in emerging countries face several obstacles accessing paid work. Maternal responsibilities, limited education and effects of industrialisation are all contributory factors.

However, many products are heritage handicrafts requiring intricate work and detail more suited to smaller hands and often women want to contribute to the family income, as in any culture.

We actively support businesses providing practical solutions for women, such as home working, flexibility and learning development.

The images here show genuine makers of Namaste products from a cross-section of suppliers.

The Role of Our Chosen Partners

Our partner organisation, GoodWeave is making great strides in encouraging inclusiveness and freedom of women's choices. For example, they run adult literacy classes open to everyone.

A GoodWeave India Supply Chain Manager says, "I can't calculate the financial value for women attending the classes, or what has been learnt, apart from that they feel empowered. Sometimes we talk about Return on Investment too much when you can't measure the benefit on this person's life."

Child Rescue Nepal also continue to liberate young girls and facilitate opportunities they could never have hoped to realise. The hairstylist in this photo is doing what she always wanted to do thanks to a CRN rescue mission.

Sisters Doing it for Themselves

Despite all the challenges, sometimes women root out the obscure means to implement change themselves.

One of our suppliers, for example, was set up by a woman for women, to help lift them out of poverty. Shina Jarg conquered a male dominated environment by founding her own recycled fabric jewellery making business in New Delhi.

By introducing the flexibility of an innovative locker system, Shina allows her workforce to craft at home and deposit finished goods. Additional vital support is given to single mothers, often ostracized by their own communities. Skills and education opportunities are made available too.

Her mission statement is,

"To empower women by providing fair wages and creating beautiful, handmade, high quality unique accessories."


... is the number of Fair Trade enterprises that have women as CEOs and the kind of achievement celebrated on International Women's Day, 8 March 2020!

Each year presents a different theme for this global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Annually on 8th March, International Women's Day (IWD) is an international event focused on:Recognising women's achievementsBringing attention to issues concerning women's equalityLobbying for wider gender equalityRaising funds or female-focused charities.

Social Media Hashtags support each year's topic, and 2021 was no exception with #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021

It's never too late to get involved. Visit the website for more details.

Nepal's Kamlari Women

Since the eighteenth century, girls from the Terai belt in Nepal have been forced to work as labourers known as Kamlaris.

Families facing extreme poverty were faced with an unenviable dilemma. It became commonplace for generations, to send daughters to toil for wealthy families. Sometimes as young as 5 years old, girls became slave labourers and were denied a childhood and an education. Often living in harsh conditions, they faced intolerable abuse and were paid as little as fifty dollars for a year's work.

Finally, the Government of Nepal banned this system of slavery and made it a crime to employ Kamlaris under these conditions in 1997.

Labelled for Further Good

Thanks to the support of our customers we were able to make a donation to Child Rescue Nepal in 2020 from the proceeds of our fabulous reusable, eco-friendly face masks.

They are sourced from our longstanding Fair Trade Nepalese supplier, under the Kamlari Project. Whereby fairly paid work, under good conditions is provided for Nepalese women and girls who would have been subjected to forced labour.

Plus, it’s good to see every mask created by the liberated Kamlari ladies is proudly despatched with a Child Rescue Nepal label. Our donation was given under The Big Give incentive which matches every gift. So you could say that’s double the difference in more ways than one!


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