October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child. According to the United Nations, nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15–19 years is neither employed nor in education or training compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age. By 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day — including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19. There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today. We need to do all we can to help--and to help them help themselves.
Help Mightly honor our girl children (of which I personally have two!) by celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child Giveaway with our partner, Eco Lips. Eco Lips was the first USDA-certified organic lip balm on the market, uses wind power offsets, and, like Mightly, makes Fair Trade Certified products.
In honor of #dayofthegirl, we’ve put together a super girl giveaway! One winner will receive a 7- pack of Eco Lips’ organic, fair trade lip balm and a $40 gift card towards Mightly’s organic, fair trade clothing line (for girls AND boys!). To enter, check @MightlyMe or @EcoLips on our Instagram feed.
What Is Fair Trade and How Does It Help Girls?
At its most basic, fair trade is about helping farmers and workers in developing countries by ensuring that they have access to export markets and are paid a fair price for their products. It is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations working together. Fair Trade Certified products are certified according to a robust system relying on independent, third-party evaluation and certification to hold businesses accountable to their fair trade commitments.
That’s a Lot of Big Words - What Does That Really Mean?
If this all seems a bit complicated, let’s put it in more basic terms: for consumers, buying a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal means more of the purchase price goes back to the people who actually grew or made the product. In other words, buyers in rich nations pay slightly higher prices for goods to ensure that producers from developing nations can earn a living wage and improve their standard of living. For factories, the Fair Trade Certified seal also ensures decent working conditions: a Fair Trade Certified factory must adhere to rigorous social, environmental and economic standards to protect the health and safety of workers, including safe working conditions, no child or forced labor, elimination of harmful chemicals, maternity leave, and much more.
Fair Trade Supports Female Farmers
Fair trade supports female farmers and female factory workers in a variety of ways. For instance, according to Fairtrade International, around 60-80 percent of the world’s food is grown by women and girls. But they often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it. As an example, the Fairtrade Foundation reports that in 2014, 470 women overcame historic land ownership constraints to establish Indonesia’s first all-women coffee cooperative. Another fair trade project in Kenya encouraged the transfer of coffee bush ownership to women, who for the first time garnered their own independent income from coffee after years of contributing up to 70 percent of the labor needed to grow and harvest the beans. But don’t take it from us -- rather, if you want to hear directly from female fair trade farmers themselves, check out the following videos. Here is Rosine Bekoin, a mother of five, cocoa farmer and fair trade producer since 2016. Another is Olga Alvarado, a coffee farmer from Honduras. Finally, here is Anita, a coffee farmer in Papua New Guinea.
Fair Trade Supports Female Entrepreneurs
According to the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), many more fair trade businesses are women-led and -run than conventional businesses. For instance, 12% of conventional businesses have board positions held by women, while 51% of their fair trade members did so. Nine percent of conventional businesses had women CEOs, but 52% of their fair trade members did so. And 24% of conventional businesses have women in senior leadership roles, while 54% of WFTO member businesses did so.
Our company, Mightly, debuted our first fair trade collection this summer and will have 100% of our products Fair Trade Certified by the end of 2020. We are 100% women-led and 100% women-run. Ecolips, too, has a female founder and shares our belief that we can use our business to empower other women. The three of us Mightly founders went into business in part to show our girls that women can found, run, and lead businesses. Today, only 6% of CEO positions are held by women at the 500 largest American companies.
Of course, Mightly is still a long, long way off from taking its place among the S&P 500, but we are proud to be able to tell our daughters that Mightly is our business, and one we are using to promote women and girls. (My girl children are slightly less impressed by this when I ask them to help unpack boxes, but they’ll appreciate it . . . when they are older!)
#MightlyMe #EcoLips #FairTradeCertified