"On Valentine’s Day, fairtrade flowers mean gender equality"

Valentine’s Day is a day for love, romance, and fragrant floral bouquets. But we can also make it a day for gender equality. That’s because when it comes to Fairtrade flowers, more than half of the 73,000 workers on Fairtrade certified farms around the world are women.

Fairtrade flower plantations offer a lifeline to rural women, providing essential income, enabling their families to thrive, and increasing their independence. According to a recent report, female flower workers also have more control over money. A third jointly manage household finances and 38 percent are solely responsible for them. Above all, specific Fairtrade programs enable women flower workers to take part in leadership training, helping them achieve the futures they dream for themselves.

Susan Limisi explains her take on how the small act of buying Fairtrade flowers can have a big impact on building a better world for women farmers.

"According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women comprise on average 43% of the agricultural labor force in producer nations. Yet women have less access to resources such as land, information, credit and training, and are often overlooked for leadership roles. That’s why Fairtrade is dedicated to working with producer organizations to achieve gender equality." 

"I’m proud of the inclusive gender committees we have helped to establish on the flower farms. The committees provide a learning platform for the workers on gender issues and an avenue to address gender challenges before escalating them to management. We’ve also seen many producer organizations increase the maternity leave available to mothers, and establish childcare opportunities within the farms for nursing mothers. The women have time to breastfeed their babies and can return to work without having to lose their jobs."

Read the complete article at www.fairtrade.net.

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