411 words, 3 min read By Miya Jhamat
Women and their contributions towards Fairtrade
International Women’s day is a global day celebrating the social, economic cultural and political achievements of women. Here at Revolver, we pride ourselves in our Fairtrade products and ethics when it comes down to our workers and their rights. The Fairtrade movement has been championing Women’s rights from the moment it was founded, back in 1992 and they have been at the forefront of many enterprises since.
Gender equality within the coffee industry, outside of Fair Trade isn’t great. Although 70% of coffee fieldwork is carried out by women, which is a huge proportion of the farming community, they are still lacking visibility as they are not given the same amount of opportunities, respect and ownership as their male counterparts. Women workers own just 15% of land, they only receive 5% of relevant training and run just 25-35% of coffee farms, That’s not right!
Since the early 90’s, Fair Trade has broken-down stereotypes for women working in various roles, especially on coffee farms. Training is a huge step Fair Trade are taking a leap into. For Example, the Ivory Coast is a country where Cocoa is a huge export. The Women’s School of Leadership provides training in skills such as finance, decision-making and negotiation. This would help business develop further and benefit communities.
In the depths of the Kenya’s Nandi Hills, women coffee farmers are becoming a big thing. A project being undertaken there called Women in coffee, where husbands are gifting their wife’s coffee bushes and culture is shifting now to allow women to own their own land and coffee bushes.
Fair Trade has been essential to the success of Women in Coffee. They provide training to women coffee farmers and the tools that enables them to thrive.
Rural farms in Kenya operate through Co-operatives where more and more women are getting involved, speaking at meetings and becoming directors however, they are faced with challenges sometimes because for some men within the community refusing to communicate issues they have within their farms with women directors. So, there’s still many obstacles to overcome.
We still have a long way to go with giving women who operate under Fair Trade full autonomy over their work and farms. They show sheer determination and strength and they should be celebrated for it however; a lot has changed for the better and Fairtrade has made a positive impact to their lives.