Gender inequality hurts communities
Around the world, women are not treated equitably. This looks different from country to country and region to region, but the root problem is the same. Though women make up the majority of people producing food, they rarely receive their share of the benefits of their hard labor. Women in the agricultural communities where we work often:
- Don’t have control of the money they earn
- Don’t own land or crops
- Don’t have access to education, training or supplies
- Are discriminated against when applying for credit
We have now learned that being a female doesn’t mean you’re a failure, being a female means that you can do everything that boys and men can do. So, I too have the right to go to school, the right to get employed, the right to do many things, because I am also human and also capable of those things.Ndiuzayani Zaya, Sugar Cane Farmer in Malawi
Gender equality is vital
Our gender strategy supports farming organizations in tackling the unequal power relationships that hold women back in the workplace and in society. We focus on increasing women and girls’ human, social, financial and physical capital to rebalance power structures between people of different genders.
Fairtrade producer groups commit to:
- No discrimination on the basis of gender or marital status
- Zero tolerance of behavior that is sexually intimidating, abusive or exploitative
- No testing for pregnancy when recruiting workers
- Programs to support historically marginalized groups like women
- Developing a gender policy, over time
Gender equality takes work
Setting and monitoring standards is not enough to create gender equality. Fairtrade actively and intentionally works with women and men to fix power imbalances. From promoting Premium projects centered on women to starting women's schools of leadership to collaborating with trade unions and NGOs on well-being—we know that investing in women creates a more just and fair world.
Hear from real women in Fairtrade
Rosine works on a cocoa farm in Cote d'Ivoire to have a better future for herself and freedom for other women in her community.
Olga migrated to the US to secure the resources to start her own coffee farm in Honduras.
Anita is a coffee farmer in Papua New Guinea. She is determined not only to find success in the coffee industry but also to bring the next generation along with her.
Make fair trade part of your everyday life. Find out how you can get involved in the movement to make trade equitable and sustainable.Join the movement