How’s your weekend going? We’re having a slow one and staying at home mostly to keep warm! The girls are pretty happy just building stuff with their LEGO and I’m trying to make a good start on my Christmas dress.
This year I’ve become more interested than ever in women’s rights and, of course, ethical businesses. When I chatted with Lily from Swahili Coast about a guest post covering both, I knew it would be interesting! I’ll hand you over to Lily…
“Women hold up half the sky.” – Mao Zedong
Hi there, Thimble End community! My name is Lily and I am with the ethical brand, Swahili Coast.
Fairness, dignity and respect
We design accessories and homegoods lovingly handcrafted in the artisan-owned co-operative we founded in Tanzania. This model allows us to connect our incredible artisans to global markets, while operating on principles of fairness, dignity, and respect. We wholeheartedly believe in the strength of optimism, and the power of artistry to create meaningful change in the world.
Of all the challenges we’re working to solve, we’re hugely passionate about lifting women out of poverty. We do this by including them as workforce leaders. In the past, development has largely been facilitated by men. In fact, even today only 50% of women participate in the labor market versus 77% of men. Additionally, women make up 70% of the world’s working hours, earning only 10% of the world’s income and half of what men earn. We think those statistics are ready for some major change!
80% of our co-op members are dedicated women. They are now able to care for their families, send their children to school, and continue working hard for their communities, culture, and country. This model of inclusion is one that is evidence-based and happily trending in the international development conversation.
International aid agencies are now recognizing that working directly with women has an increased marginal value compared to working directly with men. Take a peek at this World Bank study for more information!
Women as breadwinners
Our co-founder, Tony Peele, says it best: “Our work in Tanzania provides a stable income for women as breadwinners – normalizing women as successful wage earners, managers and owners within a growing company that does business in global markets.”
So why women?
When we empower women, we enable an entire half of the population that has been historically silenced. Their children and families thrive, their communities flourish, and local economies are given the opportunity to grow. That’s something worth investing in.
Thank you so much Lily for taking the time to write this.
Interested in writing a guest post? Drop me an email!