International Women's Day 2020

“i am generation equality: realizing women’s rights”

#EachforEqual

Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day! A day where people come together and celebrate the incredible contributions of women all across the globe. 

International Women's Day at the AMMA workshop

The beautiful AMMA team dressed up in traditional saris outside the workshop.

Women have been key in transforming our world culturally, socially, politically and economically. We celebrate International Women’s Day because it provides a platform for us to recognise the beauty that women bring to this world. However, it does not stop there. It is also a reminder of how much further we need to go and how much more potential there is within women and girls worldwide. On this day, we are striving for change and development so that the women of the future have every opportunity to fulfil their potential. 

We don’t want the triumphs of women to go unnoticed! International Women’s Day is a great chance for us to value the women around us, whether that’s our mother’s, our friends or our female role models.  

This year’s campaign theme is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. People all over the world will be fighting for an equal world using the #EachforEqual. If each one of us fights for the dismantling of stereotypes and fights for the true recognition of women worldwide then what’s stopping us from building a gender equal world?

“Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.”

Women in workplaces have often struggled with unconscious gender prejudices that have long favoured men and discriminated against women. However, now is the time to build workplaces which delight in the inclusivity of women and all the innovations they have to offer.  

Research has shown that over the past 11 years, female owned businesses have outperformed all other firms when considering total growth, revenue increases and employment. Gender equality in the business industry means economies will flourish and communities will engage with the variety of gifts and talents women bring.

 

 The AMMA team marking IWD by learning about women who have spoken out for a cause they believe in, followed by an exercise where they wrote a letter to a women who has inspired them.

 

According to the Sri Lanka Labour Force Statistics, in 2019, women made up 52% of Sri Lanka’s total population. Despite this, only 35.3% of the economically active population were female. If women are the majority, why is this not reflected in the labour force? A World Bank report points to 3 reasons: child-rearing falling disproportionately on women, women lacking appropriate skills for employment, and gender discrimination in job hiring and promotion. Here at AMMA, we aim to tackle these issues. Being a social enterprise who are #EachforEqual, we provide both training and employment for Sri Lankan mothers, helping to break down barriers and promote equality for women. 

We are so proud that AMMA provides a pathway for women to have purpose in business. AMMA is a woman led business and we intentionally celebrate the commitment, hard work and leadership that each of our women bring. Our women find employment, financial security and meaning in their work which helps them to escape the poverty they face. They find confidence in having responsibility and management over their work. AMMA will continue to uplift and encourage our own women in all facets of their lives, as well as being a voice and representative for women in the business industry worldwide. 

 

 

Here is an interview with Meena, our workshop manager, about what it means to be a manager of a woman led business:        

   What does it mean to be the leader of a woman led business? 

“Being a manager at a woman led business is a great privilege for me to work and have a great time with people from different backgrounds and has a great responsibility to satisfy the customers and employees needs.” 

Do you feel as though you face discrimination as a woman?

“At the early era in 2000 there was a discrimination between gender but so far at AMMA I feel so secure of the gender equality.”

How does working at AMMA help you to feel empowered as a woman?

“AMMA has allowed equipping and allowing mothers to make life determining decisions through the different family and societal problems.”

How does AMMA help you to feel more equal within your family and community?

“Staying and working at AMMA has made me the same feeling of being with my family member and also helps me to spend time with my own family and with the society in an easy way as we have flexible working hours.” 

What skills have you learnt from working with AMMA?

“I can list few skills that I have learnt from AMMA, they are creativity, problem solving, leadership and communication.”

Has working for AMMA helped you to feel more confident about your future?

“Yes I have a confidence as I can be a teach and a role model one day to tell them the benefits of using eco-friendly products.”

As AMMA we want to applaud the acts of bravery and determination made by the women in our own business as well as reflect on the progress made by women in all countries and all communities. Today, we want to focus on harmony and equality in a world where women face so many injustices.  

If we use our conversations and actions collectively, we can all have a part in creating a gender equal world. Just choose #EachforEqual.      

 

 This article has been written by Izzy Bevir. Izzy is studying Internaional Development at Sussex University in the UK.