Though TWB explicitly works as an organization to educate women, our empowerment work is just as important. This extends into the realm of the lives of the women we work with – considering their safety, health, and family lives.
In Africa, one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. This is real statistic from the United Nations, illuminating the fact that women throughout the continent (and also the world) are in need of protection, education, and rights. Through working at a bakery, our hope is that women can build and invest in social networks to prevent future violence. We have installed my position of Bakery Operations Manager (BOM) to serve as much more to the women – a leader, a counselor, and a mentor – with the hope that women have a safe place to discuss challenges they face in society.
In addition to violence (whether physical, sexual, or otherwise) that women encounter, TWB also seeks to address the root causes of perpetual poverty that many of the women we work with face. Women make up the majority people how living in extreme poverty. As part of elevating their individual situations, it’s critical that women not only have a job, but a sustainable job, one where they can receive a livable, meaningful wage. Moreover, poverty includes political, social, and economic forces; at TWB, we hope that through employment and opportunities for health, the women at our bakeries will be able to overcome these barriers and change the landscape of their lives.
This part of our work is not easy. Empowering a woman takes resources, time, and investment. However, we remain committed to this cause, improving the health and well-being of women, one bakery at a time.