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Gifts That Give Back to Women - Socially Responsible Gifts

Help Women Help Themselves, Support Women's Efforts With These Gifts

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If you want to give a distinctive gift with special meaning, why not shop for gifts that give back to the women who produced them? These gifts 'give twice' by benefiting both seller and recipient. Often handmade by artisans who work within a women's collective, these socially responsible gifts provide financial support and economic independence to women, their families and communities. Browse this list of a dozen resources for online gifts that give back to women. All benefit women, and many qualify as fair trade gifts.

1. Paper to Pearls from Uganda

Paper to Pearls © Becky Olstad

Women living in the refugee camps of northern Uganda create paper bead necklaces crafted from strips of colorful magazine paper that are rolled into beads, secured with glue and varnished for sheen and durability. Income from the sale of the jewelry enables the women to buy additional food and medicine and to send their children to school.

 

2. Threads of Hope from Guatemala

Threads of Hope is a weavers' cooperative of Q'eqchi women in Guatemala offering reasonably priced quality handwoven items including table linens, napkins, shawls, baby blankets and scarves.

3. MarketPlace Handwork of India

MarketPlace Handwork of India offers women opportunities to earn a fair wage and to have work that draws on their talents. Their artisans find gratification in being able support their families, educate their children, and engage in social activism -- a process that is changing the lives of entire communities in India.

4. Mariposas San Miguel

© Mariposas San Miguel
This social enterprise based in Mexico offers products handcrafted by women -- most of them single mothers -- in rural communities. Their work provides them with better living conditions, education and support for themselves and their families. Items include pillows, wallhangings, and a wide selection of bags. Mariposas San Miguel accepts PayPal.

5. Afghan Crafts from the Feminist Majority Foundation

Pouches and pillow covers handmade by Afghan women living in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a part of their Campaign for Afghan Women & Girls, FMF is providing an outlet for the sale of these beautiful products. 100% of the proceeds go back to Afghan women and girls.

6. St. Mary's Handicrafts from India at SERRV.org

At the St. Mary's sewing and embroidery center in Ahmedabad in western India, women use traditional skills to create works of art. Profits from sales are distributed to the 450 women artisans who also receive benefits in the form of a savings plan, school scholarships for their children, and technical courses to upgrade their skills.

7. Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms © Adair Freeman

Run by women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution, and addiction, Thistle Farms offers handcrafted natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. All proceeds go back into Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene, which provides housing, supplies, medical and dental treatment, therapy, education and vocational training at no cost. 

8. Women's Peace Collection

Women’s Peace Collection is an enterprise that fully supports women in regions of conflict and post-conflict – as mothers, peace builders, entrepreneurs, and skilled artisans. Items are made by women in Darfur/Sudan, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Israel/Palestine, and other conflict areas around the world.

9. Global Goods Partners

Fairly traded handmade items from women-led artisan groups in Asia, Africa and the Americas that earn a fair living wage and work in a clean, safe and healthy environment. Sales help support these artisans, their families and communities. Special sections: Gifts Under $15 and Eco Gifts made from recycled rice bags, candy wrappers, laundry detergent pouches, and comics.

10. Prosperity Candle

© Prosperity Candle

Begun as a pilot program in Iraq with high quality pillar candles handmade by mothers and daughters, Prosperity Candle has given women in a place of conflict the opportunity to start their own businesses and earn an income above the minimum wage.

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