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    Principle 6: No discrimination

    Sunday, 20 November 2016  |  Joanna

    The sixth fair trade principle "Commitment to Non-Discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association" is important in the parts of the developing world where women and girls are undervalued compared to men. It is even more important where people with disabilities are not given the support we are used to in the west. If fair trade is going to empower people it needs to work with women, minorities and people with disabilities to show that we are all capable of setting our own destiny.

    Manumit is a small business which works with a single supplier in Vietnam. The Vietnamese company is a member of WFTO and takes its responsibility to the principles of fair trade very seriously. But you don't need to take our word for it. This is the story of three of their workers:

    Trang, Dung & Diu's Story: Remembering when Trang and Dung, the two disabled girls first came to our small factory, their faces were sad and unconfident. They found it hard to integrate into normal society. We encouraged them to put all of their efforts in to developing their skills, and now they have become skillful artisans in their own right and one of them has even become a technician.  Trang has got married and has a nice son. And Dung is always smiling and has bought a motorbike to come to work on! She’s very helpful and kindhearted to other artisans, teaching them skills, producing samples and managing production.

    Some of our staff are from other remote provinces. One of them, Diu’s family is so poor, for her to finish higher school she had to come to Hanoi to find a job, washing dishes for a street inn. But she was not able to cover even her living costs. She desired to find another job and to get a normal life and return to study. A relative recommended her to our company, with the hope we could give her any job. Firstly, we gave her the chance to work in packing, then we trained her to become QC manger and then most recently fabric/material manager. Intelligent and hard-working, she has grasped the opportunity with all of her heart. We have also encouraged and partially financed her to continue her computer studies. Besides covering her own fees and cost of living, she can still spend a little and send some money home to her parents every month.

    We are very happy that we can offer a chance for the women who find it harder to get a job in society. Giving work, providing training in tailoring skills, providing them with a good working environment and encouraging them to improve their productivity to get higher salary is our great happiness. Thanks to that, they can get confident in both life and society and your orders help us a lot to bring more chances of jobs to women and improve many families’ livelihoods.