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"A world where equality & justice are valued over profits and wealth"
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"A world where equality & justice are valued over profits and wealth"

Amanda McClintockOn 18 November, fair trade businesses will gather together to fight for justice across the Commonwealth and indeed the world, writes Amanda McClintock, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Queensland.

With thousands of men and women living in abject poverty working for as little as 20 cents a day in terrible working conditions, there seems little hope for some of the poorest developing countries.

The number of women and young girls who are bound in the sex trade is horrifying to consider and there often seems to be little anyone can do to help. But there is one lady in South East Queensland who believes that she can make a difference in the lives of these people.

Kate Chambers started Global Market Day from a desire to support businesses with fair and equitable business practices. And so Global Market Day was born. GMD is an initiative of Arana Hills Church of Christ that seeks to raise awareness of how we can use our voices to ensure that manufacturers, retailers and governments work together for a more just world.

It is an evening that present the opportunity for fair/free trade businesses from across the country, and indeed the world, bring their products to one place to sell and donate to a charity that is working to directly influence the lives of people living in abject poverty. Last year, there were 24 businesses that came to the event and it was publicized widely across Brisbane, Queensland.

This year it has grown even bigger. On 18 November, 45 fair trade businesses will gather together to fight for justice across the Commonwealth, and indeed the world. Having moved to a larger venue to accommodate the extra stalls, Ms. Chambers is ecstatic about the response they have received this year, “The number of businesses is amazing, we even have people sending their products from Western Australia and even overseas! I never thought it would be this big.”

This year, the proceeds are going towards FreeSet, an organisation that gives women working in the sex trade in India a chance to make a new life for themselves. They learn new skills and are paid a fair wage. For many women, this is the only opportunity they will ever get to get off the streets and still be able to support their family.

With all training provided on the job and no skills provided, there is no stigmatism about where these women have been in their lives and the focus is instead on giving them a hope and a future. Each stallholder attending GMD pays a fee and all of this money is going straight to FreeSet as well as any other donations given on the night.

For those of us involved in the Commonwealth, this is the perfect opportunity to get behind a good cause and make a difference in one of our member states. It is an opportunity to stand up and say that we are going to support a world in which equality and justice are valued over profits and wealth.

For more information please visit www.globalmarketday.org or email admin@globalmarketday.org

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About me:

“I am a working-class girl, full-time university student and mental health advocate from sunny south-east Queensland.

“Living in a small country town after growing up in the city only increased my passion for making a difference in my community and further afield, and for speaking up about the issues that matter most. Youth have a voice and it needs to be heard. Stand Up, Speak Up and Be Heard!”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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