Most of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people happen to be female.  Is this an accident?  No.  If the economy has gone global then so has gender oppression.

Poverty remains feminized as does exploitation of female labor in the global economy.   Fair Trade gives consumers the opportunity to say Yes! to safe workplaces, to childcare for working women, to living wages, to respect for woman’s laboring body.

Therefore to buy a good that is “fairly traded” is to take a stance as a consumer to say “no!” I won’t participate in the continued making and buying of goods that are sold by companies who are indifferent to the basic human rights and needs of the laborer.

Fair Trade says No! to toxicity from chemicals and fumes in the workplace that have been outlawed in Global North Countries but are allowed in factories in the Global South countries, places where the working classes  are used to produce all of the high quality and fancy products enjoyed  by consumers in the modern world — from high speed communication and handheld instantaneous entertainment to fashionable household products and clothes.

The Fair Trade Federation reports that 70% of world artisans are women.  Therefore buying fair trade directly benefits women.  Remember that women usually bear the direct burden of feeding families, nursing the sick and the injured from civil wars, gathering water and grain for sustenance.  Because of their gendered roles in Global South Countries women and girls are least likely to have access to education, to quality prenatal care and are the most likely targets of domestic violence and abuse in their communities.

When a consumer Buys Fair Trade s/he is assured that their money is going to benefit the original producer, farmer, laborer, artisan.   A Living Wage, or  “just” income improves the quality of life of their families and gives women a sense of empowerment that helps to transform them into leaders in their communities.

Buy Fair Trade and Make a Difference in a woman’s life.


Austin’s Women and Fair Trade Festival – An annual event produced by Austin Cerca de la Frontera featuring fair trade sellers local and global, including Mexico, Central and South America and Palestine.