Women and Social Enterprise
International Women's Day is March 8th
In a world in which women in developing countries face fewer opportunities, social enterprises and female empowerment projects are an increasingly significant area for the growth of their skills and independence. Financial security is key to reevaluating the status quo and advancing their equality.
The growth of social enterprise schemes in India is on the increase with both charities and individuals initiating a wide range of wonderful projects from education through to life skills. Jaadu partners with a number of them and is proud to support them in the shop and online. Projects created by women for the uplifting of women.
The Bangladesh Project s founded and run by Sophie Pattinson. The project is entirely dedicated to generating a fair trade income for local women in Bangladesh. Often, they have no experience with embroidery or sewing, and so training is given, providing lasting employment. All designs are by Sophie, a textile artist, and are often playful characters from Edward Lear’s ‘Book of Non-sense’ or serious representations of Bangladeshi culture.
House of Wandering Silk s a social enterprise founded by Katherine Neumann, based in Delhi. Katherine has travelled the world, exploring and learning about different societies and the traditional crafts within them. The enterprise makes a fantastic range of ethically sourced and crafted items including the stylish silk sari necklaces, hand made by local women in India, using recycled silk sari fabric. Each necklace is unique.
Maison Bengal is a social enterprise that aims to provide some of the poorest people in Bangladesh with a decent and reliable wage. Founded and run by Sheena Day, they work with local fair trade organisations, each one best placed to identify the most marginalised communities and provide training in handicraft production. Maison Bengal helps with design and strives to develop an international market for their products.
Recycling materials is a great way for social enterprises to keep their costs down and is important in terms of reducing waste. MOWGS, a fair trade company established in 2015, is a company we have supported at Jaadu since last summer. They use recycled plastic strapping to create unique baskets which are colourful, durable and very stylish. They work with skilled weavers in Myanmar who have learned and passed on their craft through the generations.
International Women's Day
It is a disturbing fact that so many women in this world are controlled, undervalued and unable to realise their true potential by societies that deny them basic human rights and deliberately refuse them education, freedom of thought and a life of dignity. It is a fact that when women are given the opportunity to take charge of their lives they make a huge contribution to the wellbeing of their families and communities and in turn, this builds the foundations of a better future for everyone.
International Women’s Day is 8th March, highlighting the condition of women’s lives all over the globe, although this must be an ongoing issue for every day of every year. Social enterprises and projects for the empowerment of women are an ever growing area for development. The results are skilled and creative products ethically made by hard working and committed women. Gradually the world is beginning to embrace the concept of fair trade, environmentally sound and ethical. The clothing industry is helping to lead the way but not as quickly as it should. If the price of something you purchase is incredibly cheap this could be a very clear indication of sweatshop produced clothing.
Progress is slow but the future for women looks better and better. With the right opportunities women will succeed in playing a more important part on the world stage.
Awareness, progress, results!
"When feminism is seen as a cause pursued by and for mainly Western women, we are completely missing the point.
Equality for middle class women in the West is not the goal. It is missing a giant piece of the global puzzle that unlocks the bigger picture of equality.
We wear our high street feminist slogan tees, but have we thought about who made it?"
'Why Fashion is a Feminist Issue' from ethical lifestyle blogger Mel Wiggins.