INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
International Women's Day
OF ALL WORLDS
08 March 2021
"We can have unity in diversity and diversity in unity. We don’t have to be like one another to enjoy sisterhood.” – Barbara W. Winder
The most magical event on Earth is birth. All people once went through this miracle of nature and all people were once born from a woman. Women first give life and then spend a large part of their own lives with the devoted, often selfless care of their children. They invest not only their time, strength and love in their families, but also the financial means at their disposal. However, the current reality shows that the majority of all people living in poverty are women, they often have children early, receive hardly any school education and still have to summon up a lot of energy for gender equality. Our question therefore is: How can the human family as a whole thrive if discrimination, exclusion and oppression of women worldwide is still part of everyday life? It is time to strengthen the female principles and to balance a world dominated by the mind with more love, inner connection, feeling and empathy. The well being of women contributes greatly to a healthy and happy family. We firmly believe that when we women raise our voices for one another, we contribute to the healing of the human family as a whole and strengthen it for generations to come.
MY MOMENT WITH MARGARITA
“On my February 2020 trip to Guatemala, I met Margarita (name changed to protect her privacy) for the first time – a remarkable woman and master weaver from a community near Chichicastenango who has newly become part of our team. I would like to confidentially share her story with you here, as it touched me personally. Margarita is about 45 years old and a mother of 10 children. She is completely alone with the care of her children, as her husband left her for another woman from the same community. But even before the separation, she experienced little support because her husband was addicted to alcohol – a very typical scenario among indigenous Guatemalan families. Unfortunately, Margarita also does not have a supportive family network to fall back on, as her parents and other relatives were killed in Guatemala's 30-year civil war. In order to feed her children, Margarita works as a cleaner and domestic helper in various houses in the area. To do this, she must leave her children alone in the house. None of her children have the opportunity to attend school. With her income from working as a cleaner and housekeeper, Margarita can barely meet the essential needs of food & clothing for herself and her children. Margarita cried a lot when she shared her story with me. I cried with her. As a mom of just one daughter, I could only relate in a small way to what Margarita accomplished with the pregnancies, births and upbringing of 10 children on her own. Despite her great challenges, she radiated kindness & warmth. At the next meetings, she was always the first to smile at me and take me in her arms. She showed no bitterness. I noticed that she was a strong and positive woman looking to the future. By working for Nata Y Limón she gained an opportunity that was unimaginable for her. This gave her confidence and great appreciation for the first time in her life. Since this experience, Margarita has become one of my personal heroines.”– Story told by Nata Y Limón’s co-founder Marlene Walter
A PREDICTABLE INCOME CREATES THE BASIS FOR SELF-CONFIDENCE
Margarita is just one of our highly talented weavers of the ancient Mayan textile art. She masters the most complex designs from Guatemala and also provides the textile panels found in our Heroine Bag Collection/New Wool Shopper. Working for Nata Y Limón Margarita is able to do her work completely from home – in addition to maintaining her daily duties in house and childcare. She is completely free to schedule her hours and enjoys flexibility. On average Margarita works 20h per week. She receives a fixed and reliable monthly income. In addition to being able to plan, her income increased at least threefold. Margarita's greatest wish is to be able to send her children to school with this income, so that they can receive an education and thus increase their opportunities in the future.
THE ESSENTIAL MOMENTS OF COMING TOGETHER
In total, our group of weavers in the community near Chichicastenango includes 10 women. They meet at least once a week to look at their weavings together and discuss the quality. In addition, all the women come together once a month to hand over their finished weavings to our production manager, Fabiola. These moments of coming together are also shared moments of laughing, talking and crying. The work, income and belonging in the group gives the women strength and self esteem – the first step of change in their community.
THE CRAFT INDUSTRY OFFERS ENORMOUS POTENTIAL FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
The craft industry represents the second most important source of income, after agriculture, amongst rural areas, in low income countries worldwide. 75% of people working in the Craft industry are women (NEST 2018). Craft therefore offers a tremendous potential for poverty alleviation in those countries, especially for women in remote communities. It provides access to markets and customers with much higher purchasing power than locally available. Countless studies prove that women typically invest a higher proportion (up to 90%) of their income in their families and community. If women have jobs and a fair income, everyone wins. As in the case of Margarita!
Besides being an income opportunity, craft carries a much deeper meaning. It is an essential part of culture, indigenous traditions and a source for inner and outer strength through the shared power of the group. The practice of handcraft has brought women together for centuries. During the process of creation, time is also being used to talk, to cry, to exchange ideas and to form a sisterhood community. At the same time, an extreme appreciation is felt from the fact that the hand-woven fabrics are bought, worn and used by women in Europe. Women Empowerment through the ancient art of weaving and Global Sisterhood is therefore one of Nata Y Limón's central messages.
WE STAND FOR GLOBAL SISTERHOOD
We often think that by buying handmade products we are 'doing good' and forget that we are not only giving but also receiving a lot. We gain access to a cultural heritage, such as the weavings and traditional designs, the personal stories of the makers and ancient universal wisdom embedded as symbols within the textiles. These stories teach us gratitude and to recall the essentials in life, closeness to nature, spirituality and oneness. The enrichment we receive from the relationship with craft and the makers is still underestimated. Even if it is not a direct relationship we are somehow connected with each other and this is exactly where the potential of a global cohesion among women lies - the Global Sisterhood!
Our recognition and appreciation goes out to all the women of the world! With care, empathy and flexibility they hold our families and society together, not only in times of crisis. 100% of our work goes into supporting women and their families. With conscious consumer choices, we can change the lives of women living in great poverty and grow with them as sister. By buying a bag, you can directly support our mission.
In celebration of International Women's Day, get 10% off in our online store until March 31, 2021. Code: Sisterhood