March 2016 - Choose Fairtrade coconut products, grains and sauces to fight the gender gap

Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories.  In March, we fight the winter blues with exotic and flavourful cuisine made with Fairtrade ingredients featuring coconut-based products, grains such as rice and quinoa, and savoury sauces.

Choosing these products that carry the FAIRTRADE Mark does more than add the taste of summer to your dish. Fairtrade products support the sustainable livelihoods of producers in countries marginalized by trade, and support the position of women farmers and workers.

Fairtrade and Women

All Fairtrade producers must follow Fairtrade Standards that include the following:

  • management must not discriminate on the basis of gender or marital status during the hiring  process and after;
  • no female worker has to take a pregnancy test during the hiring process;
  • maternity leave and social security provision are in place and set according to national laws or collective bargaining;
  • members of the organization must not engage in, support, or tolerate behaviour that is sexually intimidating, abusive or exploitative.

The Gender Gap

Did you know that 60-80% of global food is produced by women who make up around 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries? Unfortunately, women still have less access to productive resources including land, information, and credit and technical assistance which results in “the gender gap”.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that closing that gap would reduce the number of undernourished people by 100-150 million. Promoting gender equality is not only good for women, it is also good for agricultural development.

Fairtrade’s Gender Strategy 2016-2020

The Gender Strategy of Fairtrade International aims to close gender gap and to extend the benefits of Fairtrade to more women and girls.

By 2020, Fairtrade’s Gender Strategy aims to have:

  • Significantly increased women’s active and equal participation in Fairtrade certified smallholders and hired labour organizations;
  • Empowered more women and girls with opportunities to access equitably the benefits of Fairtrade;
  • Addressed systemic issues that hamper the realization of greater gender equality in Fairtrade supply chains.

 This International Women's Day, March 8th, show your support to gender equality by making sure your sauces, coconut products and grains are Fairtrade certified.