International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on 8 March. The theme for 2022 is Break the Bias, where we dream of a gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Opportunity International Australia encourages all people to Break the Bias by empowering female entrepreneurs.
In developing countries, women business owners hold the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Women’s spending is usually invested back into their household – improving health and education for the rest of the family. In short, economies with more female workforce participation are also more resilient and equitable – and empowering women entrepreneurs can help lift families, and whole communities, out of poverty.
A donation of $160 to Opportunity International Australia is enough to break the bias for one mother to create her own business, so she can put food on the table, send her children to school and pay the loan back which provides an opportunity for the next woman.
Indra, an entrepreneur in India, with her pickles and dry masala.
Indra runs a small business of pickle and dry masala, selling products to support her family. “I always wanted to be on my own and take care of my expenses, but I didn’t know what business I should try to achieve my dream,” said Indra. “That was when I found that Equitas was conducting skill training sessions for women to train themselves to be entrepreneurs.” Equitas is one of Opportunity’s partners in India.
"Today, when I look back, I am really thankful to Equitas for training me to start my small business and not just that, when I reached out to them seeking help to get vaccinated, they informed me about the vaccination camp that was being conducted near my house.”
The vaccine has a lot to do with how Indra’s business was able to continue. Since she had most of her clients in apartments, with the COVID-19 second wave, the apartments restricted visitations from product sellers who weren’t vaccinated.
“One day when I went all the way to see my regular customers, the apartment security asked me to produce the vaccination certificate and at that time, I never knew that there was a certificate for proof of vaccination. All I could do was to rigorously search for vaccine appointments and get my dose as the homemade products I make are always the best when served at the earliest from the date of manufacturing,” she said.
“All I could see was ‘appointments full’ and that was when Equitas came to help. I confirmed my appointment right away and received my first shot.”
Indra can now safely sell her products to her customers with all the COVID safety rules in place. She is empowered to break the bias and is an independent business woman, providing change for her family.
Thanks to the COVID vaccine and training from Equitas in India, Indra is able to get back to business
It’s thanks to your support that we have been able to increase our investment in programs that create new opportunities for resilient and hard-working women and families across Asia, all helping to break the bias and looking towards a gender equal world.