This International Women’s Day, celebrate the inspiring women in your life by giving a beautiful handcrafted gift with purpose. Every UNICEF Market purchase empowers women artisans to create and earn a livelihood that puts food on the table, funds their children's education and keeps everyone healthy, safe and secure.
Shopping the UNICEF Market Empowerment Collection is a great way to show your support for these successful businesswomen, who are making a mark in their artistic fields and in their communities. Below, a few of our favorites talk about the traditions they're keeping alive and the difference selling on UNICEF Market has made to them and to their families.
"I am Eka, and I was introduced to UNICEF Market by my husband Putra Suteja. Unfortunately he passed away in 2009 after a long illness, leaving me with a 3-year-old daughter and a 10-day-old son. Even though I am alone, I keep up my spirits and stay strong for my children. They are my biggest motivation to work and move on.
"Being associated with UNICEF Market means I can feed my children and provide a good future for them. Being able to sell my sculpture on UNICEF Market also inspires me to continue developing new ideas and designs. I'm grateful to all of my UNICEF Market customers for supporting me.”
Zandra Lorena Sajbin, Guatemala
"My husband and I work together making jewelry. We had a hard time finding new clients until one day, when we didn't have money for food, I took some pieces from our collection to our son's pediatrician and he bought a few. He was our first client."
"We create jewelry using sterling silver and jade, which is a sacred stone for us Maya people. Preserving our traditions is important. That's why I'm teaching my sons to work in silver. "
"It's not been easy getting established as an artisan because silver is very expensive. But when you set your own mind to it, you can achieve your goals. My greatest dream is to be able to buy a piece of land and build my own house so that I may leave it to my two sons."
"Thanks to UNICEF Market, I have hope that dream can come true. I believe our jewelry reflects all the love that we pour into what we do. I thank my UNICEF Market customers and all the people who support traditional handcrafts."
Irene Ruiz, Mexico
"I'm from Oaxaca where I grew up with my parents, who have been weaving Zapotec rugs for as long as I can remember. I wasn't able to finish school due to financial difficulties, but I knew I wanted to perfect my skills weaving rugs. I started learning when I was 12 years old. The first rug I ever made was woven in red hues. I still have it today in my home."
"I didn't start producing rugs in a workshop until I had a family of my own. I weave my rugs from natural wool and don't use any chemicals because I want to do my part to preserve the environment and our planet. I create the dyes from such organic materials as leaves, seeds and flowers."
"I send thanks to all my UNICEF Market customers for supporting me and my craft."
Ernestina Oppong Asante, Ghana
"I was born in the eastern region of Ghana, where I trained in dressmaking but after I realized there was no market for a dressmaker in our town I decided to learn carving. Within three years I had perfected the skill, and since 1995, I have been operating a workshop of my own with four people working under me, making drums as well as wooden sculptures and textile art."
"Carving has long been regarded as a men's trade. I am glad that I have been able not only to infiltrate that world but also to make my own mark. I love drums, and fortunately the market for African traditional drums is good. My husband, David Assante, also trained as a carver, so we work together to create drums our UNICEF Market customers will love."