Debate

Stop shopping at the expense of women

Fair trade strengthens women's position and autonomy and thus contributes to the implementation of Agenda 2030. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is proof that fair trade is possible. It is time to break unsustainable trade patterns if we want women's rights to be respected, several WFTO players in Sweden write.

In large parts of the world, there are violations of women's rights in the form of physical and sexual violence and a lack of legal services and health care. In Bolivia, physical and sexual violence against women is widespread, and in Cambodia's textile industry, women are kept in poverty through discrimination in the workplace and wages well below a decent standard of living - to name a few.

Fair Trade Retailers' Report ”Shop for women's rights”Shows that trade on fair terms strengthens women's position and autonomy. When women participate in the economy and in the labor market, economic productivity increases and poverty decreases. Through fair trade, we can therefore break unsustainable trade patterns that violate women's rights and enable the Global Goals to be achieved.

Fair trade promotes women's entrepreneurship

Fair trade is a trade cooperation with respect for human rights and the environment, and a tool for combating poverty. Within the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), importers and retailers cooperate with producers in low- and middle-income countries who, due to prevailing trade rules, lack competitiveness in the conventional market. Within the WFTO, producers are paid fairly, work democratically, have trade union rights and child labor is prohibited. This of course means that the purchase prices from the producers are higher, but because importers and retailers trade directly with the producers, the products do not necessarily have to be more expensive for the consumer.

It is also important to mention that several of the WFTO's products are manufactured by women's cooperatives and by companies owned and controlled by women. It's unique. It is worth paying attention not only today to International Women's Day but every day of the year.

70 percent of the world's poorest are women. This is despite the fact that women make up about half of the earth's population. It is not sustainable. Fair Trade The retailers' report shows that when women gain control over their own finances, children are encouraged to go to school. Strengthening women's rights is therefore necessary for us to achieve the Global Goals, and in particular Goals 5 on gender equality.

Necessary to legislate against unethical trade

Is it not strange that respect for human rights, and thereby women's rights, is voluntary for Swedish companies to take into account?

Yes that's true. There is no legislation in Sweden that holds companies accountable when their subcontractors employ children, ban trade unions, have substandard premises or release toxins into the ground and water.

As a consumer, you can look for labels in the store. WFTO marking shows that a product is produced under fair conditions. But would it not be better if we could trust that all products on the Swedish market are made with respect for human rights and the environment, and with wages that can be lived on at all levels?

The World Fair Trade Organization is proof that fair trade is possible. We therefore call on Minister of Civil Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi, who has a special responsibility for the national implementation of Agenda 2030, to initiate legislation that makes it impossible to trade in human rights and contributes to poverty.

We can not continue to trade that violates the equal value of human beings and depletes the earth's resources. Then we will never be able to ensure that women's rights are respected, nor will we implement Agenda 2030.

Maria Lövström

AnnCathrine Carlsson

Songul Can

Magdalena Hansen

Mona Bengtsson

Nicolas Berglund

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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