IWDThe 8th of March 2015 was celebrated asInternational Women’s Day. Fair Trade helps improve the lives of women globally by promoting sustainable livelihoods, development opportunities, and by ensuring those who do the work reap the reward of their efforts. Inspiring change in women’s lives is a driving force in WFTO work.

In order to celebrate this day, WFTO-Europe worked on a three different levels, sharing stories from successful women from some of our European members, participating in a twitter event on the 6th of March and attending an event focused on the promotion of women’s leadership.

Women for change

To illustrate how fair trade helps empower women around the world, WFTO collected several successful stories from the different Regions. We, as a European organization, would like to particularly share with you the point of view of a Fair Trader :

Sophie Tack from Oxfam-Magasins du Monde (Belgium): SophieTack

15 years ago, Sophie started working in Fair Trade. She is currently the director of the Partners-Campaign department of Oxfam-Magasins du monde, a Belgian organization and part of the Oxfam family. “I believe that trade can be a tool for development. But it has to be fair. Fair Trade empowers people.” Sharing a connection with women producers in the southern hemisphere, she said that everyone can be an agent for change. “I work for Oxfam because I believe that change can happen if a global movement is behind it. Overcoming poverty requires active citizenship. “We need to be more outspoken, be a clearer advocate for change. We need to increase our impact and strengthen our ability to influence.” For more stories on how Fair Trade helps women, click here.

Twitter #FairForWomen event

In connection to the International Women’s Day, WFTO-Europe participated on Friday the 6th of March 2015 in #FairForWomen Twitter chat organized by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and the Young Women´s Movement (YWCA),  in partnership with Oxfam Scotland and the Fairtrade Foundation.

WFTO-Europe contributed to raise awareness to the issue of how Fair Trade helps women and explained why women are critical to sustainable development and much more. We answered to the following questions: How does Fair Trade empower women worldwide? Why are women critical to sustainable development? How can we make our shopping baskets #FairForWomen? What is your favourite story about women and Fair Trade? What #FairForWomen action will you take in 2015?

Promoting Women’s Leadership Project

Photo: CEC European Managers

event on womenIt is common knowledge that women are still under-represented in senior and top managerial positions, but what is the actual state of play in Europe and what has been the speed of change over the last decade? To find some answers to these questions, WFTO-Europe participated in a Launch reception on European Project Report ´Promoting Women´s Leadership´, which took place on the 24th of February 2015.

By combining economic data analysis with a legal, comparative analysis, the project aimed to find actions to increase proportions of women in managerial positions as a means to face challenges of demographic change in the future. The project focused mainly on Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, the UK and Norway, non-EU member. MEP Anna Hedth as well as Commissioner Sigried Caspar attended the event. Both of them expressed their support to the project and stressed how important the question of gender equality is for Europe´s future.

You can read the report of the project here or visit the project´s website to learn more.

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