Today is International Women’s Day which also falls in Fairtrade Fortnight. One of the most important ways of lifting women and girls out of poverty in developing countries is to promote fair trade. According to the Fairtrade Foundation a quarter of all farmers and workers in fair trade are women. Of these just under half work on plantations and just a quarter are members of small farmer organisations such as co-operatives. In contrast the United Nations calculates around 70% of agricultural work is done by women. So why the difference? The answer is men still own most of the land and transport crops to market meaning they control the household income. Recognizing and investing in women farmers is good for development as many are catalysts for change in their communities. The Fairtrade Foundation is addressing this gender gap through a variety of projects. You can also help by buying fair trade from your local Co-operative store who are the largest independent supplier of fair trade products in the UK.
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