January 20, 2022
Hope is one of the most important things you can have in life.
It's what helps you get up in the morning. It's the fuel for excitement. It's the power that leads to dreams. And it's the only thing that gives you the ability to look forward to better days.
Without hope, the anticipation of good things to come is lost — any sense of expectancy that you had is gone. Hope is the primary path to believing excellent outcomes are possible, so life quickly becomes bleak and dark without it.
But some people have never experienced this deep sense of hopelessness. If you live in certain parts of the world or have known comfort most of your life, hopelessness may not be a feeling that you encounter often. However, in Eswatini, Africa, having hope is one of the hardest things to do, especially for women.
In this small southern country, Eswatini women deal with life-threatening challenges on a regular—and sometimes daily— basis. Even worse, young girls in Eswatini are not immune to certain hardships.
Regardless of their age, many females in the country constantly battle obstacles that eliminate any ounce of hope. And while sad, it's unsurprising since the trials that Eswatini women and girls face are immensely challenging.
The challenges for Eswatini women
Several difficulties pop up for women in Eswatini, all of which are interconnected. One easily affects the other. And as each one compounds, the situation becomes unbearable. However, to really understand what that looks like, here are five obstacles that many women and girls in Eswatini experience.
A survey from Amnesty International suggests that women and girls between the ages of 13 and 42 fell victim to at least one incident of sexual violence before they turned 18 years old. Research also indicates that 1 in 5 women and girls who are 15 to 49 years old experience sexual or physical violence within 12 months of being with their partner.
While girls do have the ability to go to school in Eswatini, they usually have a tough time doing so. Specifically, young girls typically have to help their families with household-related tasks, including emotional and physical care. Additionally, most families in Eswatini live below the national poverty line, making it nearly impossible to send their children to school because they can’t afford school fees or uniforms. Orphan-headed households have no income to make school possible.
For Eswatini women, in particular, the lack of job opportunities and qualifications to secure the available positions forces many of them to become sex workers.
This route then leads to high rates of pregnancy. However, many Eswatini women and girls who become pregnant have to abandon their babies because they don't have the financial resources to protect and care for them.
Another common result of sex work in Eswatini is HIV/AIDS. Studies suggest that 60.5 percent of sex workers have the disease, but women are disproportionately affected. Around a third of Eswatini women between 15 and 49 years old live with HIV/AIDS compared to a fifth of men. Eswatini also has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS around the world.
Eswatini has always battled hunger, but the pandemic drastically worsened the situation. Over 347,000 people—including 180,000 kids—in Eswatini are experiencing acute food shortages. Nearly 60,000 Swazis are also facing emergency levels of hunger, meaning they could starve or die if they don't get immediate assistance.
Of course, this situation affects both men and women. Nevertheless, these pandemic-related stresses have been particularly difficult for women because it's also led to physical and sexual violence.
How Khutsala Artisans' brings hope to Eswatini women
Khutsala Artisans is committed to helping provide hope to women and girls in Eswatini by providing employment and instilling hope through beauty, excellence, and design. One of the primary purposes of Khutsala Artisans is to increase employment in Eswatini by selling beautifully designed jewelry and home decor.
The artisans in charge of hand-making these pieces are all Swazis, and many of them are women. These employees are in charge of taking care of their families and helping their community financially, but they have the ability to meet these demands because of their employment at Khutsala Artisans.
They make jewelry and home decor with excellence in mind. These Eswatini artisans craft every piece with care and attention to detail, resulting in timeless and aesthetically-pleasing products.
And it's because of their hard work and dedication to beauty, excellence, and design that Khutsala Artisans not only sells great items but also offers employment to other Eswatini women. When Khutsala Artisans grows, it provides an opportunity to give hope to other women in need.
With a well-paying job at Khutsala Artisans, Eswatini women can buy food for their families, access medical care and resources for HIV/AIDS, avoid dangerous jobs, afford to send their young girls to school, and support themselves if their partner doesn't protect, honor, and love them.
Help provide hope in Eswatini
If you also want to help provide hope to Eswatini women and girls, you can do so by making a purchase at Khutsala Artisans. It's not an understatement to say that your purchase will go a long way in uplifting this demographic in Eswatini.
A long-term goal is for Khutsala Artisans to become a top employer in the country. More job opportunities mean more hope for Eswatini women and the girls after them.
So take a step to help make hope a reality in Eswatini. By purchasing from Khutsala Artisans, you help give women and girls the chance to dream again.
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