Having just celebrated Mother's Day, I've got women on my mind. I mean the women in my world are pretty phenomenal. They run businesses, they raise families, they plan, they schedule, they juggle, they dream, they dance, they drink red wine (some more than others), they love, they fight for and sometimes, occasionally, they sleep. But not a whole lot. I mean Mums are crazy hey! We fit in work and study and business and travel and love and home. We grow babies, we birth babies, we feed babies and then we raise those babies. Of course we don't do it alone, we have husbands or partners, families and tribes in our villages. But seriously. Women are amazing.
And so I while I was marvelling at the general splendour of my mum and my sisters and my friends. And ok, maybe a little bit me - I got to thinking about the important role that women play in the world of fairtrade. Because obviously that's really important to us! Gender equality is still a significant barrier to global development and so when it comes to fairtrade, women have a really, really important role to play. As a social enterprise business with a commitment to fairtrade, we play an important part in strengthening women's human, social, financial and physical capital. The fairtrade approach is about promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. And we are all in for that!
When it comes to production, women often do a lot of the work, but aren't always rewarded fairly. But fairtrade provides an amazing opportunity for women to expand their power and autonomy. The fairtrade standards specifically address gender by including the following criteria in an attempt to prevent gender inequality:
- Members of Fairtrade organizations must not discriminate on the basis of gender or marital status.
- During the recruitment of workers, members of the organization must not test for pregnancy.
- Members of the organization must not engage in, support, or tolerate behaviour that is sexually intimidating, abusive or exploitative.
- Members of the organization must set maternity leave, social security provisions and non-mandatory benefits according to national laws or according to collective bargaining agreements and regulations where they exist.
- The organization’s rules that determine who can become a member must not be discriminatory.
- Organizations must identify disadvantaged and/or minority groups within the organization according to, for example, gender, age, income or land area. Organizations must have programmes in place related to the disadvantaged and/or minority groups identified, to improve their social and economic position in the organization.
In the meantime, happy belated Mother's Day! To our mummas, to our friends who are mothers and to our friends who dream of being a mum one day. To the amazing mummas on every corner of the globe who we partner with - the Mums who provide for their families by creating beautiful things to share with us. We value each and every one of you and we are thankful we get to do life with so many of you.
Love Aimée and Elissa - team Wanderlust People and proud mummas of five! (Not each - that's just crazy ;-) )