Time to celebrate the important role of women in Fair Trade

8 March marks the International Women’s Day, and both World Fair Trade Organization – Europe (WFTO-Europe) and Fairtrade International took the chance to officially recognize their importance, especially within the Fair Trade movement.

On both their websites you can find the dedicated sections: WFTO-Europe and Fairtrade International.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) around 70% of agricultural work is done by women, but yet a recent TWIN report showed that women’s crucial role in farming is often unrecognised, unpaid and invisible, despite the position usually held by men. According to this research, investing in programmes targeted at women smallholders is good for development and can have a positive impact on education, health, and food security.

“The Fair Trade movement has always put women’s development in the centre. When we started People Tree, we chose to work with Fair Trade groups that put women’s and environmental issues central to everything they do. Today 85% of People Tree artisans and farmers are women and 50% of the management are women.” (Inspiring change in women’s lives – International Women’s Day 2014, WFTO-Europe).

“At Fairtrade many women are catalysts for change in many of their communities. One in four Fairtrade producers is a woman, and on plantations this figure is even higher, with women making up 47 percent of hired workers in Fairtrade. Women are active in all aspects of Fairtrade, from farming to processing, and in some cases, management of producer organizations and cooperatives.” (Women Lead the Way, Fairtrade International).

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Visit the websites of the two organizations to read more stories of women who take a leadership role in their own way, and whose life changed thanks to Fair Trade. 

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