International Women's Day
Today marks International Women’s Day, and we at Rumi are proud to be a vanguard for empowering Afghan women through for-profit enterprise.
Saffron, the world’s most valuable spice and grown at highest quality in Afghanistan, is the perfect industry for women. The picking and processing are traditionally done by women in their homes. At Rumi, we hired 384 Afghan women this year and paid them direct wages in our three state-of-art processing facilities, making us the largest private sector employer of Afghan women. Through your support we are empowering Afghan women, giving them an opportunity to earn a wage and provide for their family. We seek to help the most needy in Afghan society, widows and those supporting families. Each purchase contributes towards providing jobs for these women. We are working hard every day to increase our market share to continue to provide jobs in Afghanistan. There's a lot more work to be done, but as they say in Dari, Qatra ba qatra darya meysha, which means “Drop by drop a river is made.”
We at Rumi also recognize the tremendous efforts by women chefs around the world to improve the world of gastronomy and food. Food is community and love. Food nourishes the body and spirit, and it is a gift of love and labor from one person to another.
At the Parabere Forum in Barcelona this past weekend, we were featured speakers about the sustainability of social enterprise as a way to empower women. We met so many wonderful women changing the world through food. Margot Janse, chef of the famed Tasting Room, has pioneered a program feeding South African children in poor neighborhoods. Dr. Afton Halloran brings insects to the table as a sustainable source of protein for women and their families. Roberta Siao and Nikandre Kopcke, co-founders of Mazí Mas, employ immigrant women and mothers who have hard time integrating into the workforce to cook for their restaurant.
As a women owned business whose benefited from the tremendous opportunities given to us in the US, empowering women has a special place in our heart. A big thank you to our many supporters and customers who allow us to make a difference in Afghanistan, one saffron flower at a time.