In West Africa, as part of our commitment to Fairtrade cocoa, we are investing in the funding of Fairtrade Africa’s Women’s Leadership School. Over the next year, the Leadership School will work with women from seven farmer groups in Cote D’Ivoire. The women will be trained in business skills such as decision making, managing resources, and leadership, so that they can go on to take up more important roles in their farmer organisations and communities.
Women make up almost half the agricultural workforce in developing countries but they only account for around a fifth of the farmers in Fairtrade organisations. Often women are restricted from taking part because they don’t own land or crops, or because farming work isn’t seen as appropriate for them. This programme will help to break down stereotypes and change opportunities for women. We know that where women are empowered to make decisions, life improves. Not just for the women, but for their families and their communities.