SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
17
September
2013

FTRN Booklet

I always knew the gap between the rich and poor was large and continuing to increase. However, when I saw the actual stats for it, I was amazed. Of the world's poorest 20%, the only consume 1.5% of resources. Even I thought they might consume more. Never did I imagine that such a large number of people would consume so little. It makes me start to appreciate what I have even more.

"A wage of $1 [per day], common in factories producing for US corporations, provides less than 25% of the minimum needs of a family of five." The fact that products are sold far more than what they're worth or what it took to produce them is extremely unfair, not only to consumers but also to workers. The middleman between consumers and workers make more of a profit than the actual people who take their time to create these objects. They work for way less than someone in the US when they deserve more than what some Americans earn. Consumers have finally realized this and now, according to the booklet, seek alternatives for these workers so they don't have to live such unfortunate lives. I think that's amazing about fair trades. Consumers are requesting specific fair trade products as substitutes for something else to help these people, definitely making it a social justice movement and global commerce. It's a great way to build a business and a way for parents to take care of their children, which I find far more admirable and respectable than parents who ship their children off to fend for themselves. I'm going to digress a bit here: I don't understand how parents could just abandon their children. It makes me wonder if parents ever think about their kids once they disown them. Do they really think that abandoning them would do them more good rather than harm? These are little children who need guidance and would be better off struggling with their parents than alone out in a world with rapists, pedophiles, and others who would cause them great harm.

After reading some of the stories in the booklet, I realized that women benefit more than men in fair trades. Maybe because in these societies women can't go out and do the jobs there because they're for men? I'm not sure about that. However, I think the women involved in the fair trade organization are using their time to benefit themselves and gives others what they created. They're developing their skills while at the same time making a living for themselves and doing what they enjoy. These are societies where women probably have to rely on men to bring in the income or go out on their own to do so. With fair trades, they can now feel independent and confident that they'll be able to raise their families.



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