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Women Around the World Making Change

Between International Women’s Day, March 8th and Mother’s Day, May 11th, we profiled women around the world and their work to advance women economically, politically, and socially, through a blog series titled ‘Women Around the World Making Change’. Here are their stories:

Home of Hope and Peace

Faced with hardships due to the effects of destructive free trade agreements, a booming trade in illegal drugs, and a broken immigration system, mothers living along the US/Mexican border are saying "No Mas Muertes!" and are building a community where people feel safe and secure.


In April, Fair Trade Store manager Kara Roguly traveled to India with Handmade Expressions to meet with the artisans who make our Fair Trade tote bag and other beautiful items at our stores. There, she saw firsthand the positive impact the Fair Trade system has brought to the community and also delivered messages that were sent in by Global Exchange members. Read an interview that Kara conducted with a mother and quilter named Kamala Devi.

Women's Equality and Food Sovereignty

María Estela Barco Huerta is a powerful woman working to promote food sovereignty in Chiapas, Mexico. Her organization, DESMI provides workshops on sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and ecological management of livestock, examining these subjects through a lens of gender equality and women’s rights. This inspiring work led us to honor her at the 12th Annual Human Rights Awards.

The Uganda Stove Project

On Mount Elgon in Uganda live the growers who cultivate various blends of Equal Exchange coffee. The Gumutindo Coffee Co-op is primarily made up of mothers in Uganda, who through producing Equal Exchange’s Fair Trade coffee are able to make big improvements to their homes and community. Learn more about the Uganda Stove Project.

Seed of Hope

Lizzie Zuniga moved to Bogota from Chiquinquira, a small town in the Western Boyaca Province located three hours north from the capital city. She survived her first years in the city making and selling tagua seed jewelry in the street. Tagua seeds grow wild in Boyaca and when Lizzie moved to the city she depended on this natural resource of their homeland to sustain their new urban livelihood. Ten years later, her Fair Trade business employs seven artisans in the full-time production of tagua seed jewelry.

We thank these women for sharing their stories with all of us and for inspiring change everyday.

You can support the women living along the US/Mexico border by buying a beautiful copper necklace made by women to commemorate and honor the migrants who have died in the desert, and to provide a source of income for the members of the community center.


Carleen Pickard
Executive Director

Global Exchange
We are an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world.
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