At ORGANIC INDIA, we know first-hand that when you empower women, you empower community. As an integral part of our company operations, we invest in women through employment opportunities, fair wages, access to healthcare, job skills training, leadership development, and educational programming.
While gender inequality is prevalent around the world, India is among the worst countries for gender equality (World Economic Forum, 2015). According to a 2015 report from the McKinsey Global Institute, India also stands to gain the most with a projected 16% growth in GDP from increased gender equality.
We take great pride in providing opportunity to our farmers—many from marginalized groups including women, widows, the elderly and the illiterate—enabling self-sufficiency and developing skills to pass on to future generations.
We have seen first-hand that empowered women significantly strengthen families, farming operations and entire communities, providing an overall increase in quality of life.
Our efforts to empower women include:
Fair Pay: ORGANIC INDIA pays female farmers premium market wages, equal to their male counterparts. This is a rare opportunity in India, where the gender pay gap is very high. The World Economic Forum reports that Indian women are paid only one-third of what a man in the same position is paid.
Our relationships with farmers are built on mutual respect, dignity and interconnectedness. Fair wages honor this relationship by enabling female farmers to financially support themselves and their families. In addition, we pay farmers whether their crops fail or flourish, providing financial security regardless of temporarily unfortunate conditions.
Job Skills Training Programs: ORGANIC INDIA provides job skills training programs to empower women to achieve gainful employment. Female farmers are educated in organic and regenerative agricultural practices, but we also provide non-agricultural job skills trainings as well. For example, ORGANIC INDIA provides a 6-week stitchery training course to empower women to seek employment opportunities outside of farming.
Leadership on Farms: Because ORGANIC INDIA’s female farmers are educated in agricultural operations, we see them becoming empowered to assume leadership roles and even land ownership on their small family farms. As a result, women are independently leading operations on farms, a role traditionally reserved for men in India.
Employing Widows: In India, widows are largely treated as “untouchables,” forced into a life of begging and destitution. This stigmatized group is ostracized from Indian society, rejected by their families, refused employment and even shelter, due to a superstitious societal belief that they are cursed.
ORGANIC INDIA employs many widows, particularly on our Sweet Rose Farm in Brindavan. Here, you can find women and widows laughing and singing, handpicking rose petals in the fields. It is truly a beautiful sight, which is why we describe our Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea as “stress relieving and magical.” The magic is in the taste of sweet opportunity. Witness the empowered women of our Sweet Rose farm here:
ORGANIC INDIA provides as much employment opportunity as possible to females in India. For example, our 200-person processing plant in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh operates with 95% female employees. We aim to provide employment opportunities for women both on and off the farm.
It is our duty and honor to take action as a company to support and celebrate the achievement of the mothers, daughters and soul-sisters who nurture bravely, build wisely and create compassionately in this beautiful world we live in. When you empower women, it’s not one person or one family that you affect — it’s the entire village. Every day we honor our women farmers, whose work and wisdom create sustainable land, strong families and healthy communities.
Learn more at: www.ORGANICINDIA.com