The “gender gap” in agricultural production not only means that women are more likely to live in poverty, so too do their families.
One of the Fair Trade Federation’s Principles is that a cooperative or organization: “Create Opportunities for Economically and Marginalized Producers.” This certification requirement addresses gender inequality and helps ensure that women—in agriculture as well as craft production—earn the same living wage as the men who are doing comparable work.
It’s estimated that closing the gender gap could reduce the number of undernourished people in the world by 100-150 million.
Here are a few examples of how being in a fair trade artisan or food producer group has helped women raise themselves up and thrive…
The Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana offers equal opportunities to women for all positions within the cocoa farming and production process in addition to skills training. Women not only grow, ferment, and dry the cacao beans used in delicious chocolate, they also are elected buying clerks and serve in other positions too. Because they are fairly compensated for their work, they can send their children to school and are more likely to be educated as well.
Also located in Ghana, Global Mamas producers hand batik, sew, weave, and bead apparel, textiles, and more. Because they receive a fair and equal wage, women who work for Global Mamas are able to more easily attain their career goals and pay tuition for their children’s education as well.
Partnering with fair trade organizations in India and Nepal, women who make Mata Traders apparel and jewelry are ensured training and social service support as well as a fair wage. Membership in Mata Traders artisan cooperatives includes: health care, maternity leave, retirement, and assistance with banking or help if a woman is being mistreated or abused at home. Literacy classes and computer training are also offered to cooperative members.
As can be seen in these three examples, gender equality is about equal pay for women and so much more. Fair trade certification makes certain that women have access to opportunities and compensation that they may not otherwise have. Come to Global Gifts to see the unique handicrafts and taste the delicious chocolates that are grown and produced by women all over the world!