On this International Labour Day , Network of Asia and Pacific Producers extend its gratitude to the entire labour force for being our front liners not only in times of crisis but otherwise too. We thank our farmers and workers who battle through various natural and unprecedented calamities in their everyday work life to provide enough food resources for the global population to sustain.
Agriculture being a labour intensive industry has always been referred to as a male-dominated sector, even though women were involved in farming since the beginning of time. However, over the years new technological advancements has made farming less physically demanding leading to an increase in the participation of women. Currently, women account for 40% or more of the total labour force in many countries.
Today they play an important role in the food justice movement. Women farmers have started forming into cooperatives, cross-learning, and encouraging other women to join the profession.
Farming for women is not only about balancing ‘at home’ and ’on-field’ roles but also about ethical caring, taking care of farm, family, and environment, and providing healthy food. However, along with the success, women face multiple challenges in their everyday life starting from social, economic, and educational barriers to gender discrimination and various exploitations. During a global crisis, the situation becomes worse. Fairtrade Gender Leadership school has been working at educating the women farmers in order to create/ increase their awareness on gender-related issues, the women are well-trained in identifying, handling and reporting of such cases.
We reached out to some of our Gender Leadership School women leaders to find out how they are coping up with the current crisis and the challenges therein and the response from the leaders were truly inspiring.