The Latest in Women

Empowering Women: Coffee in Costa Rica, Fashion in Pakistan

After the men of the Costa Rican village of Biolley left in search of work, the women had to figure out a way to feed their families. They took matters into their own hands and formed an association to harvest and sell coffee, reports NBC. Their journey, documented in the film “A Small Section of the World” tells their story of becoming coffee entrepreneurs, and in the process not only change their lives but the lives of many near and far.

In Pakistan, the fashion industry is beginning to empower skilled, but poorly paid, artisans.  As the Guardian reports, “One example is Shubinak, an artisan-focused lifestyle brand launched in 2005. Its parent company Looptex is a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified manufacturer employing more than 500 workers with a special focus on developing ethical and sustainable working practices. Established in 2004, Looptex is based in Lahore and has provided goods for brands including Econscious, Levi’s and Dockers.

“Shubinak works with skilled women in Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to provide them with a sustainable income. There is no shortage of talent in the art of embroidery in Chitral: the difficult part is building a supply chain which connects women with these skills to the companies who want to buy their products. With harsh mountains, lush meadows, giant glaciers, man-made roads and adverse weather conditions, Chitral’s population of 50,000 is spread across distant valleys at varying altitudes. Cultural norms mean that women are often prevented from leaving the home, making it difficult for them to earn an income.”