For the first two years of university I worked in a family run jewellers six days a week in my small hometown. It was great, my bosses were kind, and I earned lots of money which allowed me to do many things I otherwise couldn't have the following semester. But in the summer of third year I was faced with different prospects...
At first it sounds impossible, but it's not. People do it all over the world for days and even weeks on end. I remember vividly the second week living with my host family in Nicaragua. We had a big orange carton called a "pichinga" which we filled up with water from the well at the bottom of our garden and purified with a chlorine tablet. Occasionally we would have running water from a tap to be purified.
Whether we are talking about the ugly reality for women in Nicaragua, the preventable death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland, the imprisonment of Las 17 in El Salvador, the recent arrest of a woman in Chile, the painful journey of women travelling from Ireland and Northern Ireland every day, these stories shame all those who oppose safe legal abortion.
Globally, women do two thirds of the world's work but earn only 10% of the world's income. This is partly because caring and domestic work is not always paid or recognised but here in Nicaragua, the Cooperativa Juan Francisco Paz Silva recognise "women's work" as part of the value chain of the coffee and sesame oil that they sell to the UK.