Avon lipstick products
Avon lipstick products are displayed inside the newly completed U.S. headquarters for Avon Products Inc. on September 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

From MadameNoire.com: I have a family full of Avon junkies and I’m always amazed that this form of salesmanship is still flourishing in the age of the Internet every time my mom comes home with a new book. But I’m even more amazed at the difference being an Avon representative is making in the lives of women in South Africa.

Results of a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council shows that black South African women who are working as Avon reps in the country are gaining a whole new lease on life, namely one that is above the poverty line and on par with the earnings of black men. From two large surveys, one with 300 black Avon Representatives working in South Africa and one with 77 of their consumers, as well as interviews and focus groups with Avon management, Sales Representatives and consumer, the researchers found that:

  • On average, the Avon Representatives earned enough to cover their typical household expenditures for food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and shoes, as well as healthcare.

Read the rest of this story on MadameNoire.com.