On March 8th the color purple will be displayed in many businesses and around cities to embrace and celebrate International Women’s Day. Flowers around the world are blooming and flourishing for the special event. Behind those flowers are many women, from the meticulous women who care for plantations to those who create beautiful arrangements and events time after time. We take a moment to salute hard working women on this special day and a special gratitude to those women who help the floral industry flourish.
If we look at the history of International Women’s Day. It was first observed in 1909 in New York when women who worked in factories protested against poor working conditions. It was a revolutionary time for women as they fought for equal rights, especially for the right to vote. This movement spread like wildfire all over the world and in 1975, March 8th was proclaimed International Women’s Day by the United Nations.
Let’s take a closer look into the floral industry and the role of women within the industry. 65% of workers in plantations are women. Over the last 20 years, with the rapid growth of agriculture and floriculture export industry, employment opportunities have increased significantly for women in Latin America. In many plantations, women operators oversee planting, watering, fertilizing, picking, sorting and assembling bunches. Many farms also provide special programs for young mothers, empowering them with equal conditions including maternity leave, social security, paid vacations and health insurance.
For example, one of the farms we work with, Agrocoex, has implemented a program in which they provide washing machines in their farms so that workers can do laundry during working hours, a simple service that goes a long way because it allows women extra quality family time and a convenient solution to an everyday task. Another important plan to enhance the standard of living for all employees at Agrocoex is a computer center which allows workers to stay up to date with new technology and learn basic computer skills. Women especially are very grateful for the opportunity to learn how to navigate a computer because it also allows them to help with their children’s homework.
At iBuyFlowers, we are proud to have partnered with flower farms that pledge and support fair conditions for all employees.
Happy International Women’s Day!