International Women’s Day (IWD) is held annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
IWD is a celebration of the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The Body Shop Australia is proud to introduce you to five amazing women who have achieved milestones in their communities through participation in The Body Shop Community Fair Trade program.
Meet Afishetu Yakubu
Afishetu is married with 7 children. The eldest of her children is 27 and the youngest is 6. Her husband works as a security guard for a local orphanage. She has been a member of Mbanayili for 16 years now. The income from her Shea butter means that she can now look after herself, she can school her children and feed them well. All her children watch and learn from her and understand Shea. They may earn money from Shea when they are older but if they are educated then perhaps they will get other jobs. Her membership to Tungteiya has meant that she has been able to attend the Global Shea Alliance meetings, trainings and workshops. This is her life achievement. Through going to these meetings she has found her voice. Now she can talk to anyone. She only received a little education but through Tungteiya she is becoming educated and her English is improving. She said that she could understand all my questions even though she could not respond to them.
Liduvia has 6 children, and 2 now work in Spain. She inherited 2.5 hectares from her husband, and grows cane. She has been a member of Montillo for many years, and finds membership really helps her, as she has access to credit when she needs it. Her average yield is 40 – 50MT per annum.
Meet the Eudafano Women
Both economic and non‐economic benefits have been realised by the Eudafano women. Economic benefits have seen women being able to pay school fees for their children, buy school uniforms, buy food for the family and invest in livestock. The women involved in the project report that the benefits to them go beyond money, affording them a sense of independence, competence and confidence. Other non‐economic benefits include:
They have gainied a sense of independence from their husbands and men in general. Gaining self‐confidence and business management competence. The women own and run the cooperative and are involved in the complete processing of their product, and they have been able to build their own factory.
The Eudafano women hope to build the future generation through education. Strengthening the capacity of the primary producers through training and enhancing their understanding of the market requirements, record keeping and organic certification principles. Importantly, the Marula fruit harvest occurs at the beginning of the school year making the cash income from their sale very important for the payment of their children’s school fees and clothing.
Tanaye is one of the female beekeepers working with our Community Fair Trade honey supplier Beza Mar in Ethiopia. After starting her own successful beekeeping business she has been inspired to train other women in the traditions of beekeeping so they too can earn their own income.
Diosina is from our Community Fair Trade organic babassu oil supplier in Brazil. Any long standing The Body Shop fans out there remember our 'Made with Passion' posters a few years go? The lovely Diosina was one of our stars, and here she is again, looking younger now than 8 years ago! She is now President of the Women's Association, and justly proud of the fact!
What you can do!
International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made to protect and promote women’s rights. So make a difference…Make every day International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for women and girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding. Visit the website to find events near you!