Category Archives: Women’s Work

A business out of doing your business?

There are many reasons why the United Nations created a World Toilet Day (October 19th).  Most of them are pretty straightforward – bringing awareness to the simple disease prevention, environmental, and social benefits of having a sanitary private place to do your business.  Some of the benefits are surprising – such as having a direct positive correlation with girls attending school.  We can all understand how a toilet can raise our quality of life.  But when the Bill Gates foundation announced a “Reinvent the Toilet” competition with one of the requirements being that the toilets need to cost no more than a nickel a day to operate, several of the new designs proposed the unthinkable – making profit from waste.  Some business from your private business concepts: make fertilizer, generate electricity, and even farm high-protein grubs for animal feed!

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Recognizing the role of Women in Fair Trade

In developing countries around the world, women work to support their families in ways they aren’t paid for – even if that work contributes to a product that in the end produces income for their families.  ETICO, the Ethical Trading Company based in Nicaragua and the UK have been working with their oversee clients and Nicaraguan producer cooperatives to find creative ways of recognizing women’s contributions to the production chain.  You can read more about it here, in a recent write up by Cooperatives United.