In 2011, UN marked 11 October as the first International Day of the Girl Child, highlighting further the challenges young girls face in communities across the globe.
People Tree celebrates the importance of empowering young girls in male dominated communities. Because of this, we work with our Fair Trade groups to raise awareness of issues girls face and empowerment of girls. We support communities in India, Bangladesh and Nepal and empower girls by giving them access to education and vocational training.
Low prices for products and low wages for workers can mean that parents are forced to send their children to work. Fair Trade creates the opportunities to earn a fair wage, especially for women who can improve the economic situation of the whole family, and can afford to send their children to school.
To celebrate International Day of the Girl, here are some examples of how People Tree empowers girls through working with our producer groups:
Swallows, saying ‘Yes’ to Equality and ‘No’ to child marriage
People Tree works with Swallows where the empowerment of girls and women is central to what they do. In rural Bangladesh girls are often not given opportunities to go to school and stay at home to help and get married very young. Fair Trade funds schools and awareness raising so that girls have equal chance to study as boys and raising awareness amongst their mothers that girls cannot be forced to marry against their will. Swallows also sponsor young women to study part time whilst making Fair Trade clothing. They give legal support to local women who are victims of domestic violence and raise awareness locally about this unacceptable practice.
KTS, women strengthen their communities through knitting circles
KTS is People Tree’s partner in Nepal. Nepal is a male dominated country and we support women’s empowerment. This starts with educating and economically empowering mothers through providing income through hand knitting, micro credit, adult training, health care and the confidence to educate their children equally. Profits from Fair Trade help form a free school day care centre for over 250 children from low income families. Our schooling is progressive, valuing the girl child equally with the boys.
Assisi, organic cotton clothing delivers social development for girls & young women
People Tree partner of 20 years, Assisi Organic cotton helped build rights for girls. Assisi has worked with disadvantaged women in rural areas. Assisi runs three schools for 900 sight, speech and hearing impaired children helping them to get a good start in life. Also, young women of 18 years or more are given training in tailoring and provided with free accommodation and food to enable them to provide for their families and set up their own businesses and build their futures.
So when you buy Fair Trade fashion, your money goes a long way to supporting girls and their right to an equal chance.