The role of women in agriculture immediately comes to mind as we commemorate International Women’s Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Women and the Rural Economy
Women are shaping the rural economy in developing countries- they contribute as farmers, laborers, and entrepreneurs. Recent studies report that the majority of the world’s farmers are women and they cover a wide variety of roles. However, what is striking is that women face greater difficulties and constraints than their male counterparts with regards to land ownership, access to credit, markets, technology, seeds, water, information and education and other services.
Challenges Faced by Women in Coffee
According to the World Farmer’s Organisation, rural women are especially affected by various forms of poverty:
- Time: taking care of their farm and their family gives them less time for recreation, repose and even time to work.
- Work: women’s work is often less productive due to injustices of the basic accesses cited previously.
- Business certainty: women often have less access than their male counterparts in formal contracts of work, property, and professional training and information.
- Social networks: the quality of social and technical infrastructure makes the access to social networks more difficult for women.
Coffee Kids, Youth, and Gender Inclusivity
Coffee Kids’ Rural Business Workshops aims to close the gender gap by recognizing the barriers specific to young women in coffee growing communities and providing solutions to those barriers. Our Rural Business Workshops not only provide young women with the training, mentorship, and seed funding that young people in coffee growing communities need access to, we plan our workshops to accommodate the specific needs of women to ensure their participation. As result, the participation rates of young men and women are reasonably balanced; in Colombia, for example, 44% of the Workshop participants are women.
As Coffee Kids enters its second year since resuming programming, we will continue to conduct outreach to young rural women and to help bolster the development of women in rural coffee growing communities. Stay tuned for updates!