Written by Cindy Pardo, co-owner of The Fair Trade, and Chicago Fair Trade business member
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Leemah Gwobee, Liberian activist, and Tawakul Karman, Yemeni activist, have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. These remarkable women are notable examples of something we see every day in the Fair Trade movement. Women make up 75% of participants in Fair Trade, and considering the overwhelming number of women who live in poverty throughout the world, most of whom have children, that isn’t a surprising statistic.
Women tend to do things differently when a problem presents itself. Mangari Waanthai, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2004, worked tirelessly to help people in her native Kenya by planting trees! Understanding that a healthy environment contributes to the welfare of people everywhere, she is credited with helping to plant more than 20 million trees in Kenya, which helped stabilize the environment and the economy. The three women honored by the Nobel Committee this year have used politics to significantly change their countries and the status of women.
Fair Trade is a strong instrument for improving the lives of women in the world. We three (women) owners of The Fair Trader salute the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners. We try every day to keep up our end of this work.