Women taste sweet smell of success, The Star


Date: January 1, 1970
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Women take the lead to form a company of bee farmers whose eyes are set on the national and export honey markets.
Women take the lead to form a company of bee farmers whose eyes are set on the national and export honey markets.

This story may be used to:
  • Show a positive example of women in business.
Trainer’s notes

This article shows women achieving economic justice through access to economic resources and sustainable self-employment. The story portrays these women as innovators, determined, visionaries and successful, as oppose to the more common economic stories which portray women as poor, powerless and victims of their economic circumstances.

The article does not stereotype the women as ‘superwomen’, nor does it undermine their achievements. It points out that the majority of the women were unemployed and economically dependent on their husbands when they humbly began to pool their little resources together to start their project. Their ups and downs in trying to find the right economic activity, before they discover bee-farming, also is captured in the story.

The story is told largely through the voice and perspective of the chairperson of the new company, who highlights the gender power relations in the home which keep women poor.  The voices of other women in the project, men who are members of the group, and other women and men small-scale farmers in the area, would have added a more balance of voices and perspectives to the article.

Missing details in the article include the number of women now involved in the initiative, and the number of men in the company. The story also gives no information on the company’s and member’s earnings.

The headline and images with the story reinforce the message of women in control and active in bringing about their own empowerment.

Overall this story shows women as active, rather than passive, participants in their own economic empowerment and in the process of development.

Training exercise:

Exercise one: Portrayal of women in business

Refer to the article and discuss the following:

  1. In what ways are the women portrayed in the article achieving economic justice?
     

  2. How are women portrayed in economic and business stories in the media?
     

  3. How are they portrayed in the case study?
     

  4. Who tells their story in the article?
     

  5. What voices are missing?
     


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