Happy International Women's Day!
With 85% of are brands founded and led by woman, we're incredibly proud to be a part of such a talented and inspiring community driving positive change every day. Behind their beautiful products are stories of female empowerment, fair wages and cultural preservation (of which women play a crucial role!)
Beyond providing their artisans with a sustainable and dignified source of income for themselves and their families, many of our brands go above and beyond in their support to their workers and local communities, providing training, upskilling and supportive networks that enable them to thrive.
Whilst we wish we could share them all, this article would be never-ending so here are just a handful of the work our brands do to empower women and tackle key gender issues...
#PowerOn | a quick note on this year's theme
Calling for digital progress geared towards gender equality, this year's theme strikes a real cord with us.
The artisan-sector is the second largest industry in the Global Majority after agriculture, employing hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, worldwide. The problem is that the majority of these artisans lack the tools, resources and digital access needed to grow and succeed in the global economy.
AKOJO MARKET formed to bridge the digital gap for artisan-led brands and connect artisan-led brands to international markets. Through digital innovation and close relationships, we seek to help our brands and their artisans become key players in the global economy.
For more artisan stories check out our Designer Spotlight series here.
Oshana: Empowering Refugees
Thousands of refugee and asylum-seeking women grapple with trauma, poverty, isolation and discrimination ever day. Oshana offers Syrian refugees living in Lebanon with a chance to earn a dignified income and join a supportive community through selling their homeware. 100% profits are returned to the makers.
Mmaa Social: Ending Period Poverty
Lack of access to sanitary products cause girls across the world to lose countless school days each year. For every bag that you buy, Mmaa donates a reusable sanitary kit to help keep girls in school. The kits also create another stream of income for Mmaa's artisan makers.
Penduka: Facilitating Independence
Many women living in rural areas of Namibia live in vulnerable positions, having to depend on unreliable partners. Those who go to cities to find work are often unable to find a job or are severely underpaid. Penduka started to help these women, equipping them with the skills and knowlegde needed to take care of themselves and their children whilst staying close to their homes. Training for arts, crafts and hospitality is provided and those with entrepreneurial skills are supported to start up on their own.
Daughters Of Gaea x Tharangi: Gender Equality For All
Tharangi is a female-owned heritage textile handcraft studio in Bangalore, India, promoting gender equality, fair wages, profit-sharing and the preservation of handblock craft. Alongside conducting free training classes for women, they are partnered with the Asha Foundation for Autism, training specially-abled artisans in block printing techniques and providing an alternative stream of income for the organisation.