Women are strong. Women are agents of change. Yet women in poor communities bear almost the entire responsibility for providing the basic needs for their families, yet are largely left without resources.
Though we have come a long way, there is still a long way to go. Out of 1.3 billion people in the world who live in extreme poverty, 70% are women and girls!*
“What it boils down to is simple: If we want to drive progress in the world, we need to put girls in the driver’s seat.” – Kathy Calvin, CEO and President, UN Foundation. And CHOICE is doing just that by creating gender equality programs in every country where we work.
International Women's Day is a day to celebrate all of the women who work hard in the world to provide for their families and community. Our CHOICE Mexico team has an aggressive goal this year to create over a hundred women entrepreneurs with programs, workshops, and trainings.
Though it's early in the year, our CHOICE Mexico team has already launched several girls and women into the role of budding entrepreneurs. Let's meet three of these businesswomen.
Martita is a 13-year-old high school student who took a rabbit production course and learned about breeds, adequate facilities, reproductive management, feeding, genetic management, and rabbit products to be used for commercialization.
Martita has a plan with clear goals. First, she wants to produce a considerable amount of females to begin production of meat and rabbit products on a medium scale. Then she wants to have a large scale production farm to market the products and use the profits for education and improving her family's living conditions. An improved standard of living is her immediate goal, but generating community jobs is her long term goal.
Donna Félix also lives in rural Mexico. She is a member of the savings box in her community. Learning ways to improve her life, and the life her her family is very important to her so she has taken advantage of the trainings that CHOICE Mexico has offered such as training on the construction of bathrooms, cisterns, stoves, ovens, and biodigesters. She has used her membership in the Savings Box Program to invest cement and sand to repair the walls in her house and add a floor in her kitchen.
But she doesn’t stop at construction projects. She is also participating in the pig production program and has taken several trainings on the care and insemination of pigs. Her pig is in good health selling her piglets has added to her family's income.
When not working on construction or animal husbandry projects, Mrs. Felix is working in her orchard to provide nutritious food for her family and eliminate the need to purchase produce.
Alice's focus is different from Marita and Donna’s focus. She collects 19 eggs per day, 133 eggs per week (5 cartons per week), 570 eggs per month with a price of $2.5 each she has an income of $1,425 ($72.94 USD) a month - with only 26 hens.
With an eye toward corporate success and an entrepreneurial spirit, Alice is a force to be reckoned with. Her goal is to reach 100 hens that produce more than 2,300 eggs per month to generate a steady income.
But egg production is just one of the classes that Alice took from our Mexico team. She also took the soap and shampoo production workshop and has plans to start a business selling handmade soaps using some of the herbs available in her community.
All of these women are great examples to their families and to their communities. They all commented that with a good attitude and a willingness to learn, you can achieve your goals and improve your life. They are grateful to CHOICE for the opportunities they have received. We are grateful for their entrepreneurial spirit and happily celebrate them this International Women's Day.
Donate now to our gender equality programs to ensure more girls and women can receive a life-changing education or training as a social entrepreneur.