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International Women’s Day: Meet Sheryl

Today marks International Women’s Day, so here at Twinings we’re taking a moment to celebrate the women at the forefront of your favourite cuppa.

Women form the majority of the workforce in tea gardens and gender equality is at the heart of our Sourced with Care programme. Today we share the story of one such woman: Sheryl, whose achievements have taken her from Nandi to Nairobi.
 
Sheryl has been working as a tea plucker in the Nandi Hills, Kenya, for the past four years, where she lives with her husband and two children. In rural areas, female tea workers can lack access to basic health information and services, as well as critical skills needed to live empowered lives. This can lead to high maternal mortality rates, HIV infection, pressure on family finances due to high fertility rates, lack of productivity and low income.

In partnership with expert organisations and producers, Twinings works to improve women’s health in our supply chain, with a particular focus on reproductive health and family planning. Sheryl was trained as a Peer Health Educator as part of one of these partnerships in Kenya. Following this training, Sheryl and her husband decided to focus on their family of four and to choose the right family planning method for them.

Sheryl told us that she’s happy she had the opportunity to acquire this knowledge, and is now able to disseminate the same to her friends.

A BETTER FUTURE

The training also empowers women and increases confidence. Sheryl has recently been promoted to become a Green Leaf Tea Clerk. This promotion will give her an improved salary and a better future for her family. When women thrive, so do the people around them and wider society as whole.

At the end of last year, Sheryl joined Peris Ochieng, Twinings Ethical Sourcing Manager for Kenya and Malawi, at a United Nations Summit in Nairobi. This was Sheryl’s first time on a plane and a momentous journey for her; training, promotion and now delivering a speech at a UN conference.

Together, they gave a keynote address on, How strategic Private Partners can fulfil the promise of ICPD for Women and Girls.

Peris talked through Twinings’ work in empowering women through Health education (HERhealth), then introduced Sheryl who shared her story on how HERhealth project has made a positive impact on her life and the importance of access to healthcare knowledge. After their speech, delegates approached Peris and Sheryl, referring to Sheryl as, “the voice of the women”, praising her for her fantastic speech on such an important topic.

An equal world is an enabled world. Find out more about Twinings’ wider Sourced with Care programme.

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