Why support women empowerment?
With each shining woman, shines a family, a community and a generation. Last years’ (2019) Nobel prize winners - Esther Duflo and husband Abhijit Banerjee highlighted the importance of empowering rural women as one crucial step to alleviate poverty in developing nations. It’s long known that women play a catalytic role in achieving transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development. Empowering them is essential, not only for the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also for overall economic productivity.
My interactions with our women artisans
I (Sindhu Holla, Founder and co-creator) have been working with rural artisans - especially women artisans for the last seven years. Over these years I have had the opportunity to communicate with many women artisans from different parts of rural India to understand the issues they face, what inspired them to join the workforce, why it took them so long to join work etc. Whilst I am very proud that over the years there has been a significant increase in the number of women coming to join the team alongside their male counterparts, we need more women to become financially independent. During my conversations with these women artisans over these years, I realised there were two main issues that stops them from leaving the comfort of their household:
- Who will take care of my children when I am out for work (as there is no concept of day care in rural areas)
- Will I be able to manage doing house chores, taking care of my children, elders at home and working in the farm (as agriculture is the main occupation in these rural areas).
By partnering with the head of our artisan team in Haryana, we were able to come up with a solution to barriers that have kept women out of the workforce: “cape of hope.”
What is Cape of hope project?
Cape of hope is an initiative to integrate childcare centers within the artisan unit for the children of artisan mothers. With your help, women in our artisan community can earn money, be financially independent all while trusting that their children are being cared for.
What have we done so far...
- The current facility we have (adjacent to the work space) has two rooms: one, where children are able to relax and eat and another where they can play and learn.
- There is a small library of books to help develop their reading skills.
- Women artisans take turns to care for the children. Each artisan gets to spend an hour during the work day with their children while continuing to earn a living.
What we want to do moving forward
Our previous venture in developing a child care center on our site was a test case for us and it has proven to be very successful. We want to continue with this initiative to build more units where there is a need. We would also like to provide more support to the children at the facility to develop their skills by facilitating various activities, hiring teachers etc.
Many of our customers have asked how they can be a part of this initiative and we couldn’t be more thrilled to provide answers:
- By buying our Cape Infinity and Cape Infinity lite you are already helping the Cape of Hope project.
- If you have bought a cape from Fifth Origins, write an honest review to reach others in the community. For every review we will donate 2 Euros to the project.
- We will keep you informed about other initiatives that we undertake to raise awareness for this project and look forward to developing new ways to build the Fifth Origins community continually.
Together we are stronger and can achieve more. Let’s join hands in bringing a transformative change and contribute towards the issue of gender disparity, women empowerment, and nurturing future generations.