While women do much of the work on small farms and plantations, they often face unequal treatment, discrimination, and harassment in many rural areas and in factories. Fair Trade strives to help women realize their full potential and to get the respect in their communities that they deserve. Women hired on Fair Trade farms and plantations are guaranteed access to health care, certain job rights, and freedom from harassment so that women are able to play a strong role in their families and in their coops. Fair Trade empowers women through opportunities for education, leadership roles, and scholarships so that girls can imagine a future where they can be their own boss.
- On Fair Trade farms, sexual harassment and discrimination are strictly prohibited, training is given to workers to know their rights and grievance processes are in place to address complaints.
- Some cooperatives have implemented domestic violence education programs that teach community members about prevention.
- Some cooperatives have adopted policies that state spousal abuse is grounds for dismissal from the cooperative.
- Female hired laborers on Fair Trade farms have access to paid maternity leave, vacation and sick leave, as well as a guarantee of their job upon their return.
- Fair Trade standards guarantee hired laborers receive regular medical examinations and free protective equipment.Fair Trade standards ensure that women are not exposed to agrochemicals during pregnancy.
- Some coops have elected to use part of their Fair Trade premiums for women’s health programs that focus on nutrition and family planning.
- Women often hold key decision-making roles within the cooperatives,
despite the cultural norms of inequality that are often present in
- Many Fair Trade farming organizations offer women the opportunity to work toward financial security through income-generating projects such as weaving and sewing.
- Many cooperatives have women’s committees that meet regularly to advance gender equality and create programs to encourage female participation and leadership within the organization.
- Scholarship programs funded by Fair Trade premiums and additional Fair Trade income enable girls and women to access education.