Engendering Global Justice: Women First
A tool for prioritizing women in trade deals
In the village of San Ignacio, Mexico, Felicitas Villalobos weaves baskets. For Felicitas and many of the Tarahumara Indians living in a poverty-stricken region, creating baskets is one of the only ways to earn an income. At 28, she is a mother of two small children and the sole wage earner for her family. Her baskets can sell for nearly $100 a week on the export market where she can earn up to three times as much as a factory worker. Still, because of taxes imposed on exports since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), her earnings do not meet Mexico’s official living wage of $445 per month, which includes the average cost of food, clothing and housing for a family of four. However, if the taxes were removed, Felicitas's earnings would increase by $66 per month, bringing her income to just above the living wage and providing a more stable life for her family.