THE status of women in the society remains a challenge until today. Women are still battling to fight for their worth and prove their capability to be in the different industries such as the male-dominated business industry.
However, more and more women are recorded to make it on top and have continued to become inspiration to others.
Yvette Marie Punzalan is a businesswoman who has been helping 380 other women to get up on their feet through an opportunity to earn on their own. Punzalan is the owner and designer of the famed Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection. The bags are made of straw and other synthetic and natural materials made by women in the community in order to make it sustainable.
Around 250 women inmates, 50 Tagakaulo tribal women, and 80 from the communities in Davao City are her regular major suppliers in order to design a bag.
“These are my products, made of plastic straws. The women I am helping out are the women in prison. I was the one who trained them and they started with only 20 women inmates,” she said, adding that in this way, these women will have the chance to have a source of income and for the inmates, a second chance inside the cell.
“Gawa sila ng gawa ng mga placemats, wala silang market. So I went to their community at naging sustainable siya in a way kasi hindi na sila bumababa, ako na ang umaakyat doon and I market it to the local, national and international,” she said.
Looking back from 10 years ago, Punzalan could say that it has been an uneasy road, especially that one needs to invest not only finances, but also time and effort to train these women and improve their skills.
According to her, majority of her regular buyers are from Luzon and outside the country. She said that they have come to appreciate the work made by the vulnerable sector in the society, the women.
During the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 launching of the first Go Lokal! store in Abreeza, Punzalan was one of the few who showcased her products.
DTI 11 regional director Maria Belenda Ambi said during the opening that the store was the government’s way to help micro, small, and medium enterprises gain market access, such as the Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection.