As part of my travels abroad to find products, we meet amazing and beautiful women from different walks of life. For this International Women’s Day on March 8th, we want to acknowledge all these women, especially the women from underprivileged backgrounds.
I have met women suffering domestic violence, women with HIV, women from leprosy-stricken families, abandoned women, women who were sold as child brides, women who have fought and survived cancer, trafficked women, single mothers and slum women, just to name a few. Each of them has a story to tell. Many of them are bettering their lives with the help of skills training and employment opportunities created by social enterprises, charities or NGOs.
Here are some photos taken during my trip to India in the last 2 weeks:
Above: Women at My Choices centre in Golconda, Hyderabad, India, many of whom are victims of domestic abuse. Here being offered training in sewing, colours, patterns to produce fabric products for sale.
A slum woman living in the slums across the Chennai train station. Thanks to the SPEED trust, she is able to weave baskets to earn a living.
Ruby (right) was married off to her uncle at age 14 yrs in the Hyderabad area of India. He beat her repeatedly and finally abandoned her and their 2 small children when she was 17 yrs old. Ruby has worked hard to pick herself up and learn as much sewing skills as she can from Melanie (left). Today at age 30 she is a supervisor training other women at Tabby’s Workshop in India. We are working with Tabby’s on new products for 2016.
Melanie Hutchinson (left) who has dedicated the last 10 years of her life in Hyderabad training women.
Above: Tabby’s workshop helping give employment to women afflicted with HIV
Village Hand weavers at Bethany Leprosy Colony. I have great privilege in living and working with them on bag designs.
Above: Vegetable lady at Bethany leprosy colony
Above: Road sweeper in Chennai
There are so many issues relating to women in many countries; gender discrimination, lack of education, lack of access to healthcare etc that one really does not know where to start. All we can do as individuals is help where we can, one person at a time.
I’m no expert on women’s issues but what I can do with Little Trove is create work and income for women involved in handicrafts; by importing and distributing their handiwork and sending them more orders, for a stable livelihood.
Founder, Little Trove