Fairtrade today, emerges as a beacon challenging the shadows of gender disparity by inviting women to carve their destinies with utmost strength. As a catalyst for change, Fairtrade Standards are designed to prevent gender inequality, increase female participation and empower more women and girls to access the benefits of Fairtrade. Keeping it aligned with this, a transformative two-day Gender Strategy Consultation Workshop was organized by Fairtrade NAPP that facilitated 11 leaders from 9 small producer organizations (SPOs) in identifying different issues of gender inequality and the need for empowerment of women and gender equality. This workshop is co-funded by European Union.

This workshop aimed at identifying, validating, and addressing gender issues hindering women’s equality. Participants verbalized and initiated strategies, advocated for women’s rights, and developed action plans to influence organizations, fostering an environment that supports women’s growth and development, especially in the workplace. The participants engaged in various activities ranging from theoretical learnings to practical learnings to games and discussions based on these targeted topics.

“Engaging us in crafting the Fairtrade NAPP gender strategy is a very important step to establish shared responsibility in advancing gender equality and promote women’s participation in business, our organization and Fairtrade community as a whole.”  – Rosemarie Gonzales, Fairtrade Farmers Coconut Multipurpose Cooperative.

Outcome of this workshop:

  • There are more activities planned to increase the likelihood of women benefiting equally from Fairtrade NAPP’s Program.
  • It developed a shared vision and explicit consensus on gender equality objectives relevant to the country strategy
  • It increased the shared ownership of gender equality goals and strategies as a key to addressing gender issues in development activities.

During the workshop, shared concerns emerged among women in the sugar and coconut sectors regarding limited livelihood opportunities due to insufficient funds. Hence, an intervention including capacity-building initiatives such as Leadership and Gender Training, along with providing projects and funds for women’s livelihood from premiums and partners have been planned. Notably, women from sugar SPOs will rely on premiums and partners, while those from coconut SPOs will source funds from Fairtrade buyers. Specific SPOs have designed their delegated intervention timelines and established a Women’s Committee Structure. A comprehensive program of action was developed to influence other organizations in resolving gender issues hindering women’s growth and development, particularly in the workplace.

“By attending this training, I have learned a lot about the Fairtrade NAPP Gender trajectory and importance of setting clear goals and activities contributing to gender program.” – Joecel Palacios, Dama Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association.

The gender strategy consultation serves as a pivotal step in formulating clear and measurable guidelines and activities to effectively tackle gender issues and concerns. Through collaborative efforts with producer organizations, Fairtrade NAPP actively creates avenues to confront and mitigate gender inequality and associated challenges that may impact the seamless implementation of the program.

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