Fairtrade – Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP) launched the second Gender Leadership School (GLS) in June in Indonesia, South East Asia. GLS is targeting women and youth from Fairtrade certified organizations across South East Asia to increase their capabilities to take leadership and management roles in their communities, organizations and households to bring about an equitable and sustainable change in the society.
The Gender leadership school is a one-year program that aims to create new leaders to become flag bearers of NAPP Gender programs. These champions will support in advocating the concept of Fairtrade in bridging the gap between men and women across different communities while combating poverty and unfair trade conditions, which women continue to face in their daily lives.
NAPP, as part of the Fairtrade International System, globally recognizes the overarching roles and contribution of women and youth in agricultural sector. It continues to improve gender equality by empowering women to deliver a transformative approach in gender mainstreaming across the Fairtrade system.
A total of 12 women and 8 men joined from Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Philippines representing 20 Fairtrade small producer organizations (SPOs) of Coffee, Sugar, Coconut, Coconut Sugar, Rice and, Herbs and Spices. They participated in the three-day training, the first collective training that kicked-off the one-year program. This training was conducted in a participatory manner and aimed to instil gender awareness, gender lenses, equal gender attitudes to bring about positive and impactful changes in regard to the gender problems. This objective successfully gained momentum of learning among the participants. The training successfully engaged the participants in building awareness and understanding the gender issues through the lenses of international laws and conventions. The participatory learning method used during the training enabled the participants to articulate gender problems that still take place within their social, economic and cultural contexts.
During this first training, the participants were asked to brainstorm their plans for upcoming three months of activities that aim to raise gender awareness within their households, cooperatives and communities. Each group of country has freedom to set up its own plan of activities. A gender consultant supported by the program officer in each country will facilitate the activities along their journey of Gender Leadership School.
As the participants were being groomed to fulfil the leadership roles, the last day of the training also equipped the participants with the knowledge and the encouragement that would enhance their self-confidence, self-esteem, and the communication and leadership skills.
Throughout the training, the friendship and shared solidarity among the participants coming from different countries were also built. This is aligned with the mission of NAPP that aims to strengthen the network of producers in Asia and Pacific through enhanced connectivity and shared solidarity.