A lot of my current identity, values, worldview, and the work that I’m proud to do at my job and on the board of CFT, stems from growing up with a working mother and a shared parenting household. Gender has played a big role in who I am, how I see the world, and my path and role in the world now.
Having a working mom set an unspoken expectation of being a professional woman.
I appreciate now how much having a working mom set examples and expectations for me--from my family and for myself.
In many of the communities where fair trade products are made, many women get their first jobs. Having that job not only provides her with economic stability and autonomy--it also sets an example for her daughters, for all of her children.
I dream of the world where it’s the norm for women to work, to be well paid and treated with respect on the job. Where there’s pay equity and women in leadership. Where every little girl can not only dream of, but have real opportunities to study, or work, or take the life path she chooses for herself.
My path into that vision began with a strong women in my own household; it began with having a working mom with a college degree, who went on to get a masters when I was in middle school. Employment through fair trade is the path to this vision for many women and their children across the globe, right here in Chicago.
By supporting local fair trade businesses, like the many members of CFT--the vast majority of which are owned by women, and whose products are made by women, I can participate in a small scale version of this vision of gender equity and a more just economy. By supporting Chicago Fair Trade, and joining with other like-minded people, I am able to grow this small scale vision into something larger by growing awareness of and access to fair trade, and thereby growing the interconnected fair trade, worker rights, climate and gender justice movements.
In honor of my mom, who's example help set me on my path, I've donated $200 toward meeting my $1000 goal.
I invite you to think of the women in your life you supported you and help make you who you are, and give in their honor.
With gratitude and in solidarity,