What is International Women's Day?
International Women’s Day is a day that champions women’s rights, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk about important issues that women are facing.
This year's theme is #BalanceforBetter, pushing to recognise the achievements of women and drive gender balance around the world.
As a brand with a conscience PureRooted encourages personal balance too. Balance in your health and beauty regime is just as important as balance in your life. We talk a little here about balance in your skincare, haircare and self-care.
Why it’s Important to Support Gender Parity in Agriculture
PureRooted’s hero ingredient is moringa, harvested from sustainably grown miracle moringa trees, tended to by small-holder farmers in Africa. The majority of the small-holder farmers are rural women.
Did you know how vital a role women play in agriculture? Women make up almost half, and in some countries well over half of the population of agricultural workers. Yet they receive a small fraction of the resources (including access to and control of land) and training available to men.
One reason for this is direct discrimination and the notion of women being seen as merely ‘helpers’ in the world of food production rather than the vital backbone that they are. According to the FAO, women’s skill sets might be undervalued but research has shown that if they had equal access to productive resources farm yields could increase by at least 20%.
In addition, social structures that dictate that women are the primary care givers for both children and elderly relatives, leaving them little time to seek out or fight for opportunities that place a higher value on their work. In areas were agriculture does not provide enough income to look after the family, women often become de facto heads of the household, when they left behind in the rural area as the men in the family migrate to cities to find work. Women are expected to take care of the land and the family in their absence. Rural women in Sub-Saharan Africa bear multiple responsibilities: producing food; weeding and harvesting on men’s fields; post-harvest processing; providing fuelwood and water; and maintaining the household. The burden only increases with population growing faster than the evolution and adoption of agricultural technology and as growing numbers of men leave farms for urban jobs.
Official statistics do not even include such informal arrangements or unpaid work, therefore women’s’ actual share in agricultural work continues to be underestimated and often unrecognised.
Recognising the importance of women in the agricultural sector is an important part of addressing the gender balance inequality.
The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development goals are a blueprint for achieving a better more sustainable future globally. Each goal is interconnected with others. For example, goal 15 is about life on land and promotes sustainable agriculture. Goal 13 is about climate change and finding sustainable ways to deal with this issue. Goal number 5 is about gender equality and women can be important catalysts in achieving both goals 15 and 13.
Let’s think first about goal 15 - life on land. Small-scale farmers, particularly women, have been shown to play a key role in promoting sustainable methods of farming based on traditional knowledge and practices. Women are often really knowledgeable about the value and use of local plant and animal resources for nutrition, health and income in their roles as family caretakers, plant gatherers, home gardeners, herbalists, and informal plant breeders. Research by the World Bank showed that women often experiment with and adapt indigenous species of plants, becoming experts in plant genetic resources.
Goal 13 is about climate change prevention and mitigation. Planting trees like the moringa tree is beneficial to climate change mitigation. Moringa trees remove harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can repair soil that has been damaged by extreme climates, encouraging biodiversity.
Climate change leads to extreme weather effects such as flooding, drought and temperature related loss that can mean extra hardship for farming and the provision of food. This can have a disproportionate effect on women, as heads of the household and responsible for sustaining their family’s livelihoods through food provision. Women are naturally expected to cope with the effects of disaster and destruction and the way it reduces the capacity to feed their families. They are also an important part of teaching the next generation from an early age, to put them on a sustainable path from early on. Yet women are underrepresented when it comes to decision making about climate change, green house gas emissions and adaptations or mitigation. They also have lower levels of access to training, education and technologies to enable them to cope with stress induced by climate change.
Increasing access and opportunity to improve managerial and technical capabilities can empower women to play a more dynamic role in implementing future improvements and close the gender disparity gap.
What PureRooted Does to Support the Cause…
At PureRooted we source our ingredients from ethical and sustainable sources. Perhaps you are wondering why we have chosen the miracle moringa tree as our key ingredient? Well it is a beacon of sustainability and helps to fight climate change and poverty as well as having amazing benefits for our health and beauty. See our About Page for more detail.
We grow a tree with every bottle of moringa oil sold, via our partnership with Tree Aid UK and additionally pledge a third of our annual profit to sustainable causes. All our products are cruelty free – cruelty to both animals and people is against our principals and see no reason why we can’t support sustainable development goals with glowing skin and healthy hair!
The lack of balance in our activities as a human race has led to the deterioration of the planet. Here at PureRooted we want to do our small bit to help to this redress this. Although it is only a drop in the ocean, it feels positive to know that we can take care of nature while taking care of ourselves.
How You Can Find the Balance
We can all do with better balance in our own lives, balancing work with time for the family, time with friends or time for yourself. It seems to be a never-ending push and pull, felt by both genders. Work life balance has become increasingly valued in the work place in the global North and the importance of self – care has seen a rapid rise in the last couple of years. Nonetheless, pressures have not disappeared.
PureRooted wholeheartedly supports balance. As a small female owned business, we know how important it is not to lose sight of this. We strive for balance in life and balance as well as in our health and beauty regimes. All things in moderation.
Don’t shoot yourself for falling for that cheeky treat or missing that early morning yoga class because you didn’t want to get out of bed. Just prioritise what is important to you, your long-term health and sanity and try to do a little better next time. We’ve got your back!
Read here how intrepid traveller Cheryl finds balance during her trips and use these tips in your day-to-day life.