Fair Anita is a social enterprise that exists to create opportunities for women and girls, selling trendy (and affordable) fair trade products made by over 8,000 talented yet marginalized women in 16 countries. In other words, they are women investing in other women.
In 16 countries and counting, Fair Anita partners with female artisan collectives and provides them with fair wages, long-term employment and business development opportunities. By paying artisans at least three-times the minimum wage, Fair Anita generates income for women that helps them respond to violent gender dynamics in their community. By committing to reliable partnerships, they help our partners grow their businesses and provide more women with paths to economic independence. By connecting resilient and talented artisans with new markets and customers, they're helping women be leaders in their communities.
Fair Anita works to empower women in 4 ways:
-By selling fair trade products: paying at least 3x the minimum wage and making sure women have access to the resources they need.
- By promoting skill and talent development: investing in women’s design skills, business acumen and pricing strategies. In turn, this helps women be leaders in their communities on the national and international level.
-By hosting workshops: aiming to inspire female entrepreneurship and providing women with business skills and resources (done through workshops, mentorship roles, and networking events across the U.S.)
-Through philanthropic giving: using commercial strategies to improve human well-being.
Creative Women of the World solely gets items from Team Ethiopia, one of Fair Anita's bases around the world. Fair Anita support Team Ethiopia by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
Team Ethiopia provides refuge, health care and the chance at a new life to women who have survived war, domestic violence and societal oppression. Gender-based violence is a significant issue in Ethiopia, and the cooperative behind Team Ethiopia was organized in response to such violence.
Early marriage, rape and female genital mutilation effect the majority of women in Ethiopia, and these practices often result in fistula. (Fistula is essentially a hole, causing women to leak urine and/or blood constantly. Because of this condition and the stench that accompanies it, women are pushed out of their community and assumed worthless.) Many of these women escape to Entoto Mountain - a hill outside the capital where Team Ethiopia is located - to seek refuge. Now these women, along with many who are also experiencing HIV/AIDS, are creating a better life for themselves through the fair trade cooperative.
The earrings pictured above are made of recycled bullet casings from the Ethiopian-Eritrean war. Women gather bullet casings left from war, melt them down, make the metal beads, and use those beads to create stunning jewelry pieces. These women, who have been told for much of their lives that they’re worthless, beat the odds and create a dignified living. Because of the fair wage they’re paid for their work, they can prove that they have value to anyone who dares question it.
Click here to read a reflection on a recent visit with the Fair Anita artisans in Ethiopia.