We believe that income generation is a human need as basic as food is; Income Generation Activities (IGA) fulfill the human being’s physical need (provides the income to survive) and the psychological need (the feeling of satisfaction and the feeling of being useful). According to the International Labour Organization: “productive people have a better sense of accomplishment, a greater awareness of their capabilities and a bigger capacity to overcome threats. Unproductive people are frustrated, insecure and incapable of dreaming a better situation than their actual one”. FEM International aims to empower women through the stimulation of socially and ecologically responsible entrepreneurship by:
-Providing a business training program and management assistance to address the lack of education and management training
-Establishing an international distribution network to facilitate access to markets for certain products and services
-Creating a network of ressources and collaboration between the partners and the micro-credit structures worldwide.
We create bridges between women, from south to south and south to north through an ecological and social entrepreneurship approach. We educate, we train, we communicate, we support, and we act.
Why women: Our inspiration
Gandhi said it once and it could not be more relevant in today’s context “Educate a man and you will educate a man, educate a woman and you will educate a whole family.”
FEM International sees the creativity, resourcefulness and commitment women have and believes that, as providers, nurturers, and caregivers, given the right tools, women will be able to fight their way out of poverty, help their families, and the communities to which they belong.
Why We Focus on the Fashion and the Textile Industry
Fashion is a global industry with economical, social and environmental impacts on the population of the developed countries (consumers) as well as the population of the developing countries (producers). According to 2006 statistics, 26 million people world-wide work in the fashion and textile industry, out of which 70% are women, a majority of whom work in improper conditions. Fashion is a highly profitable multibillion industry. In 2008, $1.281 billion dollars of fashion items were sold around the globe.
This is the reason FEM International is currently focused on the fashion industry. If we manage to add ethics to fashion, we will ultimately benefit a large number of women producers in the developing world, as well as encourage young women entrepreneurs (both local and immigrant) to engage themselves politically by producing their garments and creations in an ethical way while becoming financially savvy and economically secure.
Every man and woman can make choices as a consumer. Ethical fashion makes it easier for people to feel engaged. FEM International approach is to: clearly expose the problem, make concepts more accessible, and mobilise counsumers. It is the same approach we use in our training programs, throughout our activities, workshops, exhibits, ethical fashion events, conferences, videos and games. We strive to make youth, women and men aware of the incredible potential they have to change things, for themselves and for those around them.