Empowering Women One Cuppa At A Time

This week we are incredibly excited to start our supplier focus feature; where we shine a spotlight on one of our amazing suppliers and the work they do.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD)  we have chosen to focus on Kazi Yetu for their support of job creation and women’s economic empowerment in Tanzania.  Kazi Yetu lives and breathes the IWD campaign theme values, ‘Choose to Challenge’- How Will You Help Forge A Gender Equal World?

They supply the beautiful Fairtrade Tanzania Teas for our  build a gift box  collection, reinvesting a majority of its profits into job creation and women’s economic empowerment. (1)  In this blog we discuss the work Kazi Yetu do and how it links to the wider principles of International Women’s Day. 

Investing in Women

Women who work in agriculture and farming in Tanzania often lack opportunities for growth compared to men. Women own just 19% of the registered land, typically have 2-3 years less time in formal education than men, and often have less access to capital. Closing this gender gap in Tanzania could lead to an $85 million increase in agricultural GDP and lift 80,000 people out of poverty. (2)

Another issue is that commodities that are exported from Africa are predominantly processed, branded and packaged abroad, minimizing economic benefit in the country of origin, leading to inequalities in trade and prosperity. (1) 

Social enterprises such as Kazi Yetu help East African consumer goods businesses retain value addition in the local economy, creating urban opportunities and connecting with international markets with a focus on women’s economic empowerment. (1)

It is estimated that closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17%. (3) This is because women now represent 40% of the global workforce.

If women have the same access as men to productive resources such as land and fertilizers, agricultural output in developing countries could increase by as much as 2.5 to 4%. (4)


International Women’s Day

We have written previously about International Women's Day; a campaign that started life as part of the socialist movement representing unions, socialist parties and working women’s groups. (5)

More recently IWD is an apolitical space, preferring to focus on universal aspirations of equality, celebration and empowerment. One consequence of this has been a global mixed bag of celebrations. In Argentina, for example, IWD is largely commercialized, with men buying flowers and other gifts for the women in their lives. (6) 

Back in 2016 in a somewhat bizarre tribute a group of Chinese men climbed a mountain in dresses and high heels as an attempt to “experience the hardship” of being a woman. (7)

Fun as this is, it is important not to lose sight of the very real struggle for women’s rights that IWD represents. Supporting organisations like Kazi Yetu who work to elevate the lives of women is one simple and practical way that we can all contribute to greater gender equality.

 

A Gift that Gives Twice

International Women's Day invites people from all over the world to “celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.”(8)

It is so exciting for us to work with suppliers who embody these ideals by making a positive material impact in women’s lives, whilst at the same time fitting with our core values as a business in providing customers with a choice of gifts that truly give twice.  Through Kazi Yetu's lovely range of infused teas that are both organic and Fair-trade you are not only giving your recipient a treat but also helping empower women. 

As the world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem once explained, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist or to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

 

More information-

Below are some of the other organisations we work with who are women led or doing amazing work for greater gender equality

Pebble- This company provides employment opportunities for women in rural Bangladesh. These opportunities enable women to remain in their villages with their families. They would otherwise be forced to leave their families and migrate to the cities to work for long periods at a time.

Sabahar- This company provides respectful, ethical and sustainable work opportunities for artisans in Ethiopia with an emphasis on employment for women. 

Seedball- Two women on a mission to tackle the decline in Britain's pollinators by helping people grow more Bee and Butterfly friendly wildflowers. 

Naturally Gorgeous Cosmetics- Owned and run by Marine Biologist, Leoni Adams who has a passion for the Ocean and began the company to provide plastic-waste-free skin and hair products. 

Beauty Made Easy- Founded by Danish Mother and Daughter, Terje and Katrine with an ambition to be one of the first companies in the world to have a whole line of lip products

Notes:

  1. Kazi Yetu- About us
  2. Worldbank.org- the cost of the Gender gap in agricultural productivity in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda
  3. Guardian- why do we need an international women's day?
  4. IMF. Empowering women is smart economics
  5. Internationalwomensday.com-History of international women's day
  6. History- The surprising history of International women's day 
  7. En.people- Men in dresses and high heels to climb mountain for International women's day
  8. InternationalWomen’sDay.com- International Women’s Day  

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