The Position of Women in Fair Trade Business
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The Position of Women in Fair Trade Business

Despite the fact that women have been subjected to minimum wage for maximum labour, the position of women in fair trade businesses has changed. Read in this article the current position of women in fair trade business, what WFTO is, initiatives that are up and running and much, much more.

Fair trade business is definitely one of the 21st century revolutions that has eminently enhanced equity between producers and international consumers, and holds a promising future in bridging the gap between the developed and developing countries. A good number of the well-to-do countries have enacted laws that restrict importation of commodities that have not been fair trade certified to facilitate achievement of the set goals. The impact has been impressive but a logical evaluation of the situation on the ground shows that there is still a long way to go in creating a global fair trade scene. 

To realize the set goals, the World Fair Trade organization (WFTO) dedicates its resources to empower the entire society in the developing countries. However, traditional beliefs and practices have considerably limited women's involvement in realizing this global dream.  With such considerations in mind, the role of women in fair trade acts as the cornerstone of WFTO fair trade dream. A closer look at the mode of livelihoods in the developing countries shows that a greater majority of women depend on self employment especially in primary service and agricultural sectors, which leaves them languishing with meager incomes that flow into savings accounts painfully slow. Their husbands, on the other hand take trips to the cities where they secure more decent jobs and make investment in estates, transport sector and shareholdings among others. 

Breaking out of this cocoon has been a nightmare to many women in the developing countries. Taking care of the rural residential homes, livestock and their schooling children limits the economic activities within their reach and capability which solely confine their lives into agricultural activities. But the bitter truth is that their hard-earned produce lands in the hands of office-sitters who give them incentives, while they enjoy better pay of the same produce in the International markets. 

A new wake for women in the developing countries 

Despite the fact that the recent past has been subjecting women into minimum wage for maximum labor, a number of programs have been initiated to turn the trend around and gives women in the developing countries a platform to access international markets. Here are some of the initiatives that are already up and running: 

  • Creating more chances in leadership - Being in leadership is the only way to be actively involved in decision making and thus, by women taking more leadership positions, most women on the ground will be empowered and easily gain access to international markets for their cash crops and other products. 
  • Education Programs - In many developing countries, the society had been very skeptical towards girl-child education some decades ago, which eventually landed them into non-skilled labor and limited access to leadership positions. The trend is however changing for the better with more girls gaining access to quality education and holds a promising future in leadership and women empowerment programs in business.
  • Formation of Women Groups - Through formation women groups, it becomes easy to receive grants and loans which may help them make worthy innovations in their income generating activities. Additionally, such groups can effectively agitate for fair trade certification and enjoy the benefits of world maps presence which would otherwise be out of reach for individual marketers.

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