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Be a Fairbruary Fairtrade Hero

It’s Fairbruary, a month of celebration of all things Fair Trade. This month's blog shines a light on our partner producers in Bangladesh and their work in Women’s Empowerment.

Boat racing in the Barisal district of Bangladesh is one way in which International Women’s Day is celebrated.

We love the way our Bangladeshi producers operate.  Their aim of empowering women is a continual process through a raft of approaches; entrepreneurship, village savings schemes, health and self defence form part of the integrated approach

Since the early years, the mission of women’s empowerment has strengthened, the village savings and loans schemes is just one major component of the food security project.

But there have been many challenges in the way, and COVID bought with it fresh difficulties for the Bangladeshi women.

Aware of the vulnerabilities of women in Bangladesh, the UN carried out a rapid assessment of the impact of COVID.  In mid-2020 this assessment showed that women were generally worse off compared to men in terms of access to relief and support including health care, loss of jobs and income, and increase in family care and domestic work due to an increase in family members staying at home.

It has also been highlighted that COVID-19 has triggered a sharp increase in violence against women, particularly domestic violence, and in April the UN Secretary General called on UN Member States to step up efforts to address this “Shadow Pandemic”.

In Bangladesh, the pandemic has worsened key risk factors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), food shortages, unemployment, fear and insecurity and the country has witnessed an alarming increase in reports of domestic violence and rape, as well as harmful practices such as child marriage, since March 2020.

Meeting with Kohinoor Yeasman Chief Executive of Tarango in January 2024.

Our partner programme is working directly with Giz (the main German government development agency) to provide focused sessions on self defence, entrepreneurship and craft as a response to this “shadow epidemic.”

Last week I was fortunate to meet with Kohinoor, the Executive Director, and learn more about their current work.

To embrace and support Fair Trade initiatives like this, swap just one or two items for Fair trade items in your weekly shop. From deodorant to gin, shopping bags to rubber gloves, you can make swaps in your everyday purchasing to support the farmers, workers and

artisans around the world who grow and make the

things we buy.

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