With International Women’s Day being celebrated earlier this week, we asked one of our Fair Trade Warrior Volunteers, Trista, to highlight some of our amazing female artisans that we partner with. Take it away Trista!
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
- MARCH 8 -
CAMPAIGN THEME: #PLEDGEFORPARITY
International Women’s Day 2016 was March 8th and we at One World Market thought that this would be a great time to highlight some of the phenomenal female artisans that we partner with and the change that they are trying to create through their many handmade items all over the world.
A Little About IWD
International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. You can read more about its history here.
What’s Happening Today
If you are reading this blog the chances that you are aware of the atrocities that are happening to women all over the world are quite high. The inequalities that are affecting women vary from economic to health to gender-based violence and many more. In recent years these disparities have come to the forefront of the media and most importantly our thoughts. As such, they have become the base of dozens of non-profit and non-governmental organizations; including the United Nations. Working to eradicate gender inequalities has been an important part of the UN’s past Sustainable Development Goals and has been made into a main aspect of the new set of SDGs released Fall 2015.
There are 17 new Goals and all in someway have something to do with gender inequalities but Goal 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) is specifically targeted towards creating gender parity. From the UN: “While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.”
This is a lofty goal, but something that is actually doable if we all work together to achieve it. The targets of the goal (written by the UN) are to:
· End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
· Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking as well as sexual and other types of exploitation
· Eliminate all harmful practices concerning female youth – such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
· Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
· Ensure women’s full, effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life
· Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
· Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
· Increase access to the use of enabling technology, particularly information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
· Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
If you are interested in more facts and figures please click here.
One World Market partners with artisan groups and projects in over 50 countries around the world, but one country in particular that is home to several outstanding artisans is Uganda. Because Uganda is a developing nation many of the disparities that have been previously listed are exacerbated because of the economic difficulties that the government is faced with. Three of the largest projects making the biggest difference are The Mighty River Project, Ember: Empowering Dreamers, and Sseko.
The Mighty River Project
This project supports women that create the most beautiful baskets I have ever seen and are one of the biggest sellers that we have.
A little about them from their website: The Mighty River Project exists to support Ugandan women in providing for their families. Currently, we serve nine artisans by purchasing their handmade craft products (baskets, textiles, beads) at fair prices, thereby providing these women a consistent monthly salary that empowers them to better support their children's needs.
We then sell the handmade products in the US, and the proceeds go to further support the ladies in ways that include medical care, clean water, emergency assistance, and discipleship, as well as to tangibly support other worthy ministries in Uganda.
Your donations and product purchases help us to support these ladies and their families. Ultimately, stronger families lead to less children in institutional care in Uganda. Thank you for being involved!
Ember: Empowering Dreamers
Ember artisans create gorgeous necklaces, earrings, and bracelets out of recycled paper.
These Ugandan women have survived civil war, injustice, poverty, and despair. Now, through their partnership with Ember Arts, they are pursuing bright futures. The women hand make every piece of our jewelry out of recycled paper, and we support them as they pursue their dreams for a better future.
“We are Ember Arts, a humanitarian family business. We believe that people are at their best—most alive, engaged, and impactful—when they chase their best dreams.
Ember Arts supports a co-op of women in Uganda, Africa who create beautiful fair trade jewelry made from recycled paper. Through the sale of this handmade, eco-friendly jewelry we empower dreamers around the world. We call ourselves Ember Arts because our best dreams are like embers, smoldering little seeds of possibility just waiting to be kindled into reality. Chase your dreams.”
Every Ember Arts woman has a dream.
You may have heard of Sseko before. This organization makes those great sandals that are completely customizable and individual. Sseko has been around for many years now and has recently expanded into making several different types of shoes and even handbags!
The Sseko story:
“Sseko Designs is a fashion brand based in Uganda. In addition to handbags and accessories, we make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways.
Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.
In addition to our university-bound team, Sseko also employs women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honor and dedication, Sseko Designs provides an opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.
We believe that every woman has a dream. When she has the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter, more just and beautiful world.”
Each of these amazing organizations explain how YOU can get involved on their respective websites. You can also support them by supporting us! Come in to One World Market to see in person the remarkable handmade items from the astounding and hardworking Ugandan women.
Celebrate International Women’s Day everyday by promoting gender equality and sharing your #pledgeforparity!
Your Fair Trade Warrior,