Fair Trade measures against sexual harassment in Kenyan flower farms
Exploitation of workers at an industrial scale, allegations of low pay, unfair dismissals and cases of sexual harassment. This appears to be the daily life of the female workers on the rose and chrysanthemums fields near Lake Naivasha, 100km north of Nairobi.
Aware of these practices, Fairtrade International, which certifies 39 flower farms in Kenya, has set up gender committees provides also training in each of them to prevent such behaviours and to ensure harassments are reported. One of the interviewees declared in the report feeling more safe working in a Fairtrade certified farm.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), Fairtrade International decided to shine the spotlight on a Kenyan flower picker, working in a Fairtrade certified farm. According to Rosemary Achieng, the working conditions are better now, with women and men now having the same rights. “There are regular working hours, fixed leave days, and significantly improved safety regulations”, she declared.
The gender committees created by Fairtrade International in its certified farms help to foster gender equality. “The gender committee is so important because it ensures everyone is treated equally,” Achieng explains. “That is especially important for the women workers, as they are often not aware of their rights. I organized trainings to equip them with the relevant knowledge. Now they are much stronger than before.”