Meet Agnes Chebii

worker at a flower farm

Gender equality doesn’t happen overnight. It takes strong leaders who have the passion and resources to advocate for justice, no matter how long it takes. One of these change-makers is Agnes Chebii. Agnes has been working with Karen Roses Limited in Africa since 1998, long before the flower business became Fairtrade Certified. As a greenhouse supervisor who has been working there for over 20 years, Agnes has witnessed sexual harassment, abusive language and more among her staff.

“When I was working at Karen Roses without Fairtrade, we used to come across so many issues, like working without protection, working without even overtime, working without boundaries at the workplace, anybody could just say anything.” – Agnes

Agnes working at a flower farm
Photo by: Christoph Köstlin
flower worker in a greenhouse

Since the farm became Fairtrade Certified, Agnes participates in leadership and gender equality trainings where she learns how to enforce sexual harassment policies. She is now a chairperson on the gender-committee, encouraging her team of 30 to feel comfortable raising any issue related to gender.

“The women have come to realize that they are empowered, they are equal to men. They have all the responsibilities, they can do anything that men can do.” – Agnes

Agnes saw this injustice and has been actively working to create a different reality. This kind of change – that is driven by community members for community members – is lasting.

As leader of the Karen Roses Choir, this singer and her fellow flower workers utilize funding from Fairtrade to practice their talents. While some are embracing other activities like running, volleyball and football, Agnes is singing to the tune of Fairtrade.

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