Promoting Economic Independence For African Women

Women’s Economic Empowerment

Ida Horner.  A number of studies over the past few years have shown that gender equality is "smart economics."
Ida Horner. A number of studies over the past few years have shown that gender equality is "smart economics."

Ida Horner and Ethnic Supplies Ltd.

When you come from a third world country usually you do not realize just how high the levels of poverty are in your own country. It is only after you have travelled and seen the first world and then go back to visit your country of origin that you are shocked by the relative poverty there. This happened to a friend of mine, Ida Horner, when after living in London, she returned to her native Uganda in 2006. She then decided to quit her managerial job in London to start Ethnic Supplies Ltd, a social enterprise specialising in handicrafts and textiles from East Africa.

Ida believed in the idea that business fights poverty best and created Ethnic Supplies Ltd to support women in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar. She believes in empowering women as an ethical means to redistribute wealth in her beloved country. She tries to help women while still maintaining their dignity. Investing in women means that a large portion of their income will be re-invested in their families and communities creating stable societies.

How Different Are African Women To You And Me?

There is no difference, we are all human beings.

The only differences come from the environment in which they have to survive. In many African countries women are still marginalized, some do not have the right to mainstream education or employment. Their roles have been clearly subordinate to those of men, despite their substantial economic and social responsibilities.

How does Ethnic Supplies help women?

Ethnic Supplies promotes economic and social development of East African women by enabling them to sell their products in a competitive market.

Who Can Take Part In The Project to Help Women in Africa?

The producers are chosen by a referral system. Most of them do not have any other source of income but the one provided by their work doing handcrafts.

All producers are women either individuals or part of local women's groups. Most women are illiterate or semiliterate. There is a group in the slums of Kampala Uganda who support women affected by HIV and AIDS, a group that otherwise would find no support.

Some of the producers are:

Lillian Cydia Kyabagi

Lillian, a 70 years old widow, is one of Ethnic Supplies weavers in Southwest Uganda. She uses the payrus on the shores of the lake to weave baskets. Before, she had no market access for her baskets. She is pleased that her baskets have found a new audience and that she is able to have an income from her weaving skills.

Jacqueline Mutoni

Jacqueline is 28 years old, married and has one child. She supplements the family income by weaving baskets and sewing children's clothes that are sold through her local co-operative in Southwest Uganda.

Margeret Wabire describes how conditions can be for some poor single women in Uganda. The World Bank is working to create more opportunities for Women

The Shop To Promote Economical Independance of African Women

brown, Handmade from Papyrus and raffia, 12' wide / 12' Long from Uganda Online price:  £15.00+ £3 shipping per order
brown, Handmade from Papyrus and raffia, 12' wide / 12' Long from Uganda Online price: £15.00+ £3 shipping per order
Fort Portal Handmade from Papyrus and raffia (red) Made in Uganda.
Fort Portal Handmade from Papyrus and raffia (red) Made in Uganda.
Handmade Cotton bag Made from the finest organic Tanzanian cotton.  Hand decorated with the giraffe face
Handmade Cotton bag Made from the finest organic Tanzanian cotton. Hand decorated with the giraffe face
Straw hat handmade from raffia from Madagascar Online price:  £15.00+ £3 shipping per orde
Straw hat handmade from raffia from Madagascar Online price: £15.00+ £3 shipping per orde
Silk Scarf handmade with silk from Madagascar 18.5 wide / 80 long Online price:  £27.00+ £3 shipping per order
Silk Scarf handmade with silk from Madagascar 18.5 wide / 80 long Online price: £27.00+ £3 shipping per order

The Online Shop TO Promote Economic Independance Of African Women

The products: The raw materials for the products made are often hand harvested and cut, sewn, knit and beaded by the female producers. Colouring is also done naturally with plants and roots.

Remenber that all articles are handmade by resourceful women who are proudly trying to work their way out of poverty and provide an education for their children.

Some of the products are:

* Baskets- Typically produced from Water Hyacinth, Banana trees, Palm leaves, Raffia, Papyrus, hide and Sisal

* Handbags- Produced from similar materials to those used in basket production as well as Raw Silk and cotton

* Scarves - made from fine cotton from Tanzania and Raw and fine silk from Madagascar

* Place Mats- Made from Raffia, Cotton and Palm leaves

* Beads- Made by Uganda women using colour magazine paper.

Costume Jewellery- is produced from cow horns, semi precious stones of Madagascar, Wood, Coconut shells and seeds from plants

As well as the online shop the other way of distributing products is through home parties. If you would like to find out more about being a party host please contact Ethnic Supplies.

Events

17 October 2008 / 17 October 2008

Hilton Hotel Cobham Gala dinner and Auction brought to you by Ethnic Supplies Ltd in association Uganda Lodge An enlightening evening dedicated to issues faced by the women of Ruhanga village a remote rural village in South West Uganda

Further details http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.com

contact: Ann McCarthy t: 01932562757 e: ann@lethemhelpthemselves.com

Buutiti Beaders: Making beads out of paper

Where is Uganda?

Some facts about Uganda

Uganda

Getting There By plane: Entebbe International Airport, is 40km from the capital Kampala. By Road: Uganda can be reached overland from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Language:Educated Ugandans are generally fluent in English, which is the official language. There are also more than 30 dialects spoken.

Health: A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs.

What to do in Uganda: Uganda's star attraction is the endangered mountain gorilla. There are fewer than 700 gorillas surviving between Bwindi National Park and the Virunga Mountains.

Uganda, Women's Business Training Projects. Uganda Women's Candle Business Dec 2013

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

jacobworld profile image

jacobworld 8 years ago from Ireland

We should support them big time!!!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

jacobworld: Yes, we should support them. These women are not asking for charity but for a market for their products and ultimately for equality when doing business. Anyone who works hard to support their family should be worth supporting.

prems4u: Are you really ready to help them? They are not children who do not know how to cope with economic independence. They are women who have worked very hard all their lifes to contribute to their families and communities' economies. Of course they are ready!


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

BTW- Nativity sets would be a wonderful product to produce also... perhaps they may look into that? This is a wonderful Hub promoting a very good cause. Thumbs up... dugg!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

In the dog house: thanks for the idea, it would certainly be a hit for Christmas.


Gaget Girl profile image

Gaget Girl 8 years ago from UK

Your hub really moved me... Ive become a fan!


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Fantastic information to bring to hubpages...I'm off to shop at the online shop...your friend, Ida Horner, seems to be an extraordinary person...wish the world had more like her. Best!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Gaget girl: Ida's work is certainly moving. Not many people leaves the security of a managirial job for a social business venture.

Desert Blondie: I hope you find something you like at the online shop :)

Patkagmak: African crafts somehow manage to bring the vibrancy of its makers, maybe it is the colours, or the materials used... or just part of the spirit of the people doing the crafts with so much hope!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

What a great hub! And what a sad video. I love the stuff you've shown here, I'm going to check the online shop out! I hope people support this cause!


linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 7 years ago

Promoting Economic Independence for African Women

Support


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

thanks for your support


Bozewani profile image

Bozewani 7 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Excellent article which clearly articulates the issues of woman in that country...

The truth is many women in underdeveloped countries are marginalized because of their view as the ones who should be breaking logs and farming.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France Author

Bozewani: thanks for your comment. It would be great if more people would get involved in this issue, to help not only African but women around the world who are strugling to achieve some type of economic independance.


pauldamian profile image

pauldamian 7 years ago from London

Excellent article and a good initiative.


gladysmabvira profile image

gladysmabvira 6 years ago

this is a good project and i hope many african women will be empowered by this and do likewise in their homelands


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

pauldamian: I think it is a cause worth supporting. Thanks for reading.

gladysmabvira: Me too, I hope that this kind of initiative really helps women and that more women start programs like this one to help each other.


snow_white88 6 years ago

like everyone else has said before me... a good hub indeed. Although I generally think Africa as a whole needs economic independence as we still live in the day and age of neo-colonialism.Starting with women is a great idea...& as they say, a journey of a 1000 steps begins with 1step!Economic Empowerment for these women is surely a journey started! Please encourage Ida on my behalf... at least she is not settled away from Uganda singing the song of "I live in the diaspora" & forgets about the people back home.

Thanks for letting us know Princessa.

snow.x


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

snow_white88: Thank you for your support. Educating people and giving them the opportunity to work for a living -rather than just accepting charity- should be compulsory in third world countries. I have live in some of those countries and I have seen their women working very hard to earn a living, they are not afraid of working hard. Everybody should have the right to work and earn their living.


Laura Sinton 5 years ago

My associate is a tailor and we want to create a line of womens clothing that uses textiles made by women in need.

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