What Is International Women’s Day All About?
Feminism and equal rights is a hot topic today but women have faced inequality and discrimination for longer then you may think. The fight for gender parity has been going on for over a century and great steps have been made for the justice of women who have proven all over the world how much of an impact they make each and every day!
International Women’s Day is a day of celebration which highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also a day that marks a call to action to continue our fight for equality between genders.
Who Created International Women’s Day?
Since the beginning of the 1900s International Women’s Day has been witnessed and supported. In the early 20th century the Suffargrates collaborated and acted against the inequality between genders which kicked off the movement we know today.
In 1910, over 100 women from 17 countries gathered for the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen where the idea of International Women’s Day was tabled. Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) proposed that there should be a celebration in every country on the same day for women to press their demands. There was a unanimous approval amongst all the guests at the conference and so International Women’s Day was born.
Today the day is a celebrated day around the world. Some countries treat it equivalent to Mother’s Day. Many countries find that men will buy flowers and small gifts for the women in their lives to show their appreciation.
How Does Paper High And Its Producers Support Women?
As a Fair Trade company gender equality is very important to us whether it is in the UK or in Sri Lanka, Nepal and India! We are lucky enough to work with many incredible producers who see the importance of gender parity and do a lot for the woman in their communities. Here is a highlight of some of the great steps taken from our producers to provide empowerment amongst women.
Get Paper Industry
Get Paper Industry have many projects with an emphasis on helping woman and young girls. In Nepal, woman are often treated unfairly and are seen as a curse. There is a huge divide between the genders. Get Paper sees the injustice, which is why they focus many of their projects to support woman specifically.
They have built/renovated 5 primary schools in the local area where more than 200 girls are getting scholarships each year for attending the schools. Most girls will end up going straight to work in either the fields or at home once they hit puberty with many being married off at a very young age. Many Nepalese families do not see girls’ education as a priority which is why Get Paper encourage the locals to send their young girls to school. This project has allowed us the opportunity to sponsor 10 girls to go to school which we are very honoured to be apart of.
Get Paper also do a lot of work to protect girls from being trafficked. They have started up a group for woman to campaign against human trafficking whilst also running saving and credit programs. Currently, there are 60 groups with almost 1000 girls involved.
Tara Projects does a huge amount for their community ranging from medical to environmental but they understand that education is a human right and everyone deserves an education no matter their gender.
One of their projects is to support children between the ages of 5-15, mainly girls, to complete their basic education. A lot of the children who are involved were engaged in home-based child labour due to their families not being able to afford to send them to school. Many young girls who were selected for sponsorships were denied an education by their families and were made to decorate bangles to help earn money for their families or were confined to household work. Currently, 180 children are being supported by the sponsorship programme.
Tara Project has another project called Mahila Vikas Samooh which is a Woman Development Group. They provide further training to women to perfect their craft whilst also providing medical insurance. This allows the women in the local area to earn enough to support their families and save at the same time. This empowers the woman and allows them to be more independent without struggling.
Barefoot College not only teaches women in multiple countries how to be electrical engineers, but they also have a programme called Barefoot Enrich which educates rural woman in developing countries on things such a financial literacy, micro-enterprise skills, digital skills and more so that woman can be self-reliant and resilient entrepreneurs.
The classes are for women of all ages and they have designed their classes to be accessible for women who may be illiterate, using audio, visual and digital content in local languages and adapted to local realities.
These are only a few of our producers who use their standing in society to help empower woman. There is still a lot of work to do to find the balance between genders in developing countries but we are proud to have partnerships with producers who are fighting for the cause every day.
Why Do We Still Celebrate International Women’s Day?
There is still a lot of work to be done to close the gap between gender parity. There have been large strides made from women being allowed to vote to women being given the right to drive in more recent times which was demonstrated in Saudi Arabia in 2018! But women still receive discrimination in the form of pay with men being offered more money for the same role.
In developing countries, the gender disparity is more extreme. One of the main principles for Fair Trade is to allow women the same opportunities as men as well as the same pay. Progress is being made each day which is why it is important to have a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women, the achievements made but also to continue the fight and raise our voices in support!
Find Out More
Want to know more about us and our Producers? Have a look at our Ethics and Story. If you have a burning question then you are more then welcome to email us at email@example.com where our team will respond as soon as possible. Or leave a comment below and let us know what you think!