INEZA COOPERATIVE is a sewing cooperative based in Kigali, Rwanda that produces high quality, hand-made bags, accessories, and home decor items. It is staffed by twenty-five women who produce and market hand-made goods for sale domestically and abroad. Started in 2006 by WE-ACTx—an international NGO that specializes in comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment for survivors of the genocide.
When WE-ACTx was founded in early 2004, the women of Ineza were among the organization’s most sick and impoverished patients. Since the cooperative’s inception, however, Ineza has provided both improved medical care for women and the tools for economic and social empowerment. Through its collective decision-making and small business model, Ineza provides its staff with a source of income as well as a physically and mentally rejuvenating sense of purpose. Since many of Ineza’s staff members are survivors of the 1994 Genocide, the cooperative also serves as a space for continued emotional healing from the trauma of mass murder and rape, physical injuries, loss of family members, and domestic violence.
By Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times
KABUL, Afghanistan — Even with some legal protections in place, Afghan women, and sometimes even little girls, can be sold to pay family debts. In the country’s vast rural areas, just talking to a man who is not a close relative can be punishable by death. And in some places, girls are routinely married at puberty. Read more...
"So many of the women were happy when I led a discussion about women’s issues in the world. To start, I asked them about (domestic) violence. I think this issue is very close at hand for them. Next, I moved to a more difficult question – what did they feel as they sewed these baby booties? The answers were diverse. All of them have heard about domestic violence. They thought that various factors contribute to it – the economy, the psychology of injuring women – common sense explanations. There are stake holders who want to keep things this way.
That said, the women are very happy, to be making baby booties. They ask if the project can help them get money. I tell them it is for women. Just know that it helps them a lot."
GREENOLA is committed to Fair Trade: a justice centered business model providing a living wage for workers, safe and empowering working conditions, and environmentally friendly practices. They empower producers in the Third World to lift themselves out of poverty, invest in their communities, protect the environment, and develop skills necessary to compete in a global environment.
GREENOLA actively supports 5 Fair Trade producer groups in Bolivia, each group is very unique in itself.
GREENOLA works directly with the producers, providing training to the artisans and their cooperatives so they are able to improve on their skills. This in return strengthens their business and social impact, both in their communities and worldwide. In most cases, they make a 50% advance on orders, helping our producers to finance Fair Trade. GREENOLA takes a slower approach to production, supporting handmade items, unlike most of products dominating the fashion industry.
WARMIS COOPERATIVE, Greenola Style, Cochabamba, Bolivia
The Warmis Cooperative makes baby booties for the Gendercide Awareness Project. Women are members on an as-needed basis. They attend meetings when they are in need of work, and then often jump out to do other jobs. At this time, there are about 60 women in the Warmis community, with about 12 who work full time.
$2.50 to these women is a good wage. Often they make less than that per day in their communities doing other things. They have the opportunity to make more than $2.50 a day with this job, as they are paid per item. In Bolivia, you can get ingredients to purchase enough starches for one meal with $2.50 (their meals are starch heavy). The average wage in Bolivia is .22 cents per hour of HARD labor. This is a significant difference, and it is an opportunity to do work that is easier on the body, that they can do from home while watching children, and at their own will.
By Luisita Lopez Torregrosa -- Just as the pressing call for an end to violence against women resounds around the world, it is also making itself heard here in Washington.
In the past month, the U.S. Congress passed the expanded Violence Against Women Act it had held up for a year and a half, and, separately, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, went to war against sexual assault in the U.S. military, holding the first Senate hearings on this staggering problem in nearly ten years.
“We have 19,000 sexual assaults a year happening,” she said, “and only a small handful of perpetrators being prosecuted.” Until now sexual violence in the military, where one of three victims are women, has gone largely ignored, with a small fraction of cases reported and only 10 percent going to trial. Read More...
The peasant women pictured here are part of a cooperative of about ten women from Ghuizhou, China. Sewing these elaborate baby booties by hand is a dying art form; these women are rightly proud of their elegant handiwork. The women live in largely unheated homes. During the winter months, arthritis combines with cold weather to make sewing nearly impossible. Now that the weather is warmer, they are producing baby booties rapidly.
The money earned from one pair of baby booties will buy one of the following small necessities: a dozen eggs, two pounds of pork, a kilogram of salt, or a few cups of cooking oil.
Mrs. Han making booties
Mrs. Jin making booties
TBILISI/PRAGUE -- Georgia faces a serious and growing demographic problem. According to the United Nations, the ratio of newborn boys to girls in 1991 was 105 to 100. By 2000, it was nearly 110 to 100. And in 2011, it was almost 114 to 100.
Together with its neighbors in the South Caucasus -- Armenia and Azerbaijan -- Georgia is on a trajectory to develop a gender imbalance on par with what has been observed in India and China.
That kind of imbalance brings myriad social problems, from trafficking of women, to increased levels of violence and instability, to outbreaks of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The lopsided numbers are the result of sex-selective abortions -- couples using ultrasound and other technologies to determine the sex of their fetus and to abort it if it is not the gender they desire. And, around the world, most couples desire boys. Read More...
April 26, 2013 by Reggie Littlejohn
Washington, D.C. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers president Reggie Littlejohn and Rep. Chris Smith led a delegation from Capitol Hill to the Chinese Embassy to deliver 200,000 signatures on a petition to end gendercide and forced abortion in China. Though Rep. Smith and Littlejohn tried repeatedly to gain access to the Embassy to deliver the petition signatures, the Embassy refused to grant access. Read More...
The Gendercide Awareness Project is commissioning baby booties from a group of young people in Uganda! Below you see them making their first baby booties -- a practice run! The booties are made from bark cloth. The group works with Uganda Empowers, a nonprofit that offers AIDS prevention, AIDS treatment, and AIDS education in this part of rural Uganda. Uganda Empowers also provides income-earning skills and opportunities to AIDS survivors, AIDS orphans, and families hit hard by AIDS. That is what you see here. See UgandaEmpowers.org
These videos and photos bring home the fact that our gendercide art installation truly is a global creation.
On April 22, Gendercide Awareness Project members, June Chow and Morgan Regan, met with Girls Scouts of Northeast Dallas to teach them about the inequalities women face around the world and to make baby booties for the art awareness exhibit. The importance of education as a way of being able to pursue dreams and to support families was discussed. The girls loved the idea that the baby booties they made will be used in an art installation alongside booties made by other women from 15 different locations around the world!