According to the UN, women do more than 67% of the hours of work done in the work, earn only 10% of the world’s income and own only 1% of the world’s property. On average women are paid 30-40% less than men for comparable work, but in many developing countries women regularly do not receive remuneration for their work at all.

Rural women constitute ¼ of the world’s population. They account for a great proportion of the agricultural labour force, produce the majority of food grown and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas (UN Women).

While the Fair Trade concept is well-known for the way it enables small producers in the South to work their way out of poverty, people may not always recognize Fair Trade as a best practice in addressing gender inequality.

According to a study by the Fair Trade Federation, 70% of Fair Trade  artisans are female and although, on average, men are the majority of Fair Trade farmers here too Fair Trade makes an important difference for women, for instance because “ equal pay for equivalent work ” is an important Fair Trade principle.

The most recent Fairtrade International monitoring report indicated that women represent 20 percent of farmers and 47 percent of hired workers in Fairtrade. Taken together, one in four Fair Trade producers are women. Women are active in all aspects of Fair Trade, from farming to Processing, and in some cases, management of producer organisations and cooperatives.

 

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