International Women’s Day – Break the Bias
International Women’s Day takes place each year on 8th March, and this year’s theme is Break the Bias. Bias, both conscious and subconscious, is pervasive and entrenched. It takes thoughtful and concerted effort to ensure that the bias on the basis of gender doesn’t affect our decision-making, our assumptions about others’ character and abilities, or the opportunities that we share.
Peace Child International supports women in rural Sierra Leone to grow small businesses that will lift them and their families and communities out of poverty. The barriers that these women face, financial, social and legal, are immense, but so is their resolve. Over the next few months, we’ll be telling the stories of a few of these inspirational women who we have the privilege of empowering, ahead of the launch of our 2022 report on empowering female entrepreneurs.
First up is the inspirational Isatu Sheku, from Diema in Sierra Leone.
Isatu Sheku lives in Deima village, Sierra Leone, with her husband and six children. She has no formal education and is not able to read and write, but runs a business selling cooked food. Isatu joined Peace Child’s entrepreneurship training to learn how to manage and finance her business more effectively.
Isatu found that by paying for her raw materials from profits rather than on loan, she could reduce her overheads and retain a greater portion of her sales.
Since completing the training, Isatu has seen her business turnover increase by 650%. Isatu’s success have made her see herself as the head of the household.
“Not only have I been able to repay the money I owed, in fact now I can provide for my family and now even give my husband loans to buy materials he needs to farm.”