International Women’s Day is a celebration of equality for a gender balanced world #BalanceforBetter. While most of the western world acknowledges this, not necessarily all (take the film industry for example) a lot of the world still treat women as second class citizens.

I’m not professing to be an authority on the subject, but awareness of inequality still existing in the 21st Century is an important issue. The definition of inequality according to the Collins English Dictionary is ”
Inequality is the difference in social statuswealth, or opportunity between people or groups”. The reality is that people rarely get the same opportunities as each other, whether by virtue of birth, gender, situation, luck or even geography, the list is exhaustive. All we can do is increase awareness to bring about change.

Can we all do something in our own small way? Is it possible as a small business to make a difference?

As a Fair Trade seller I know that a lot of the items I sell are made by women. It’s their only source of income but it gives them their independence which is so important. Independence gives them equality. They can buy food, a roof over their heads, clothing and their basic needs to care for themselves and their children.

Take one item I sell, for example… a range of hand knitted finger puppets. These are crafted by a Women’s Guild of single mothers in Peru. They live in the slums just outside the capital of Lima and have come together to generate income and at the same time they look after each other’s children. These items are purchased by a Fair Trade Wholesaler, purchased by me, then purchased by my customers. Sometimes they are purchased as a gift for someone else. Their story is told along the chain and each person in the chain helps that small group of Mothers and raises awareness.

It is then not just buying a product, it is supporting a legacy. I in my small way can make a difference being part of a chain that gives people a better balance in their lives. There are legacies behind every Fair Trade item I sell. I tell people about them when they buy from me at Events if they want to know a little more about the item they are buying.

I’m happy to be part of the chain.

Anne, Adorn Anew

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