“Women make up half the world’s population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world’s poor. We live in a world in which women living in poverty face gross inequalities and injustice from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination that a woman may suffer during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common.” -The Global Poverty Project
“Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, the money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine, and housing, and consequently their children are healthier. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family. Men, on the other hand, invest around 30 cents and are more likely to squander money on alcohol and other vices.” – halftheskymovement.org
Much has been written about fighting poverty through empowering and investing in women. When a woman is able to earn a living, she can and most likely will change everything for her family. What can we do to help?
Through Roberta’s work with the Dorcas Sewing Ladies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we have a unique opportunity to play a small part in directly empowering women who live in poverty. These ladies were taught to sew, have received donations of fabrics and machines, and now they need a market so that they can stand on their own as their business grows. While they do sell some of their bags in Haiti, it makes good business sense to create a market for their goods here where we have such an overwhelmingly large amount of disposable income. They have been willing to learn a trade and put in the hard work to create bags and skirts, and we have the easy job of buying the beautiful, hand crafted goods. They are not asking for a hand out, they are asking for an opportunity to make a living.
Almost every woman carries a bag of some kind at some point. It may be a purse or diaper bag or book bag or a teacher bag or a travel bag. We get to choose when we purchase that bag. Do we choose to buy a cheap one that might have cost some woman around the world her freedom because she is subjected to what is essentially slave labor in a sweatshop? Or do we choose a bag that will actually give life to a woman and her family somewhere in the world?
The money that you spend on your next bag can really mean the difference between death and life. Does $20 seem like it has the power to give life or take it away? When you purchase a $20 bag from the Dorcas Sewing Ladies of Haiti, your $20 is giving a life, a livelihood, to real women. They will use that money to invest in their business, to send their children to school, to get food and medicine, and to give back to their congregations in Haiti. If you want to be a part of changing the world and helping end the cycles of poverty, let your dollars do the talking next time you make any purchase. Find out where your goods come from, and who made them. If you want to make a difference and change the world, shop with a purpose, and empower women to change their own world.
*If you would like more information about buying a bag from the Dorcas Sewing Ladies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Bags are managed and sold in Henderson, TN, but we can ship to you!
Large totes ($20) are reversible with a print fabric on the inside. Small bags ($7) come in lots of prints.