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Economic empowerment is the capacity of women to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the growth processes in ways that recognise the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth.
Economic empowerment increases women’s access to economic resources, and opportunities including jobs, financial services, property, skills development and market information. A woman’s prosperity is usually passed on to her family and community so it benefits all.
She deserves a living income
This is the theme for Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 which will run from 25 February until 10 March. Fairtrade Fortnight is an action-packed highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.
The focus of the campaign will be on cocoa, women’s empowerment and a living income. It will be a three-year campaign which will concentrate efforts to go further and faster for farmers to achieve living incomes.
Over the 3 years of the campaign there will petitions, pledges and other actions, but to kick things off, the main message to share in your community is simple: BUY FAIRTRADE CHOCOLATE!
She deserves Fairtrade
Women are central to the cocoa story.
Many farmers – both men and women – are underpaid and exploited. That means they can’t earn enough for the basic human rights that many of us take for granted, including food, education and housing. For the women who work in the fields and in the home, it’s even worse. They may plant and harvest, look after children, carry water and transport the cocoa beans to market. But despite all that hard work, they are likely to see even less of the money for their crop. They deserve more.
Fairtrade will be featuring the voices of women cocoa farmers at the heart of Fairtrade Fortnight. By recognising those women during Fairtrade Fortnight, we can create a platform for the amazing and inspiring women farmers across the Fairtrade network. They are leading the way in changing attitudes, behaviours and, ultimately, their communities.
A living income
A living wage is a salary paid by an employer to a worker that covers a basic standard of life.
But if you’re a smallholder farmer, there’s no one to pay you a salary and there are a lot of other factors that come in to play. That’s where the concept of a living income becomes useful.
A living income (defined by The Living Income Community of Practice) is calculated as the net annual income needed for a household to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household. That means you need to earn enough to eat nutritiously throughout the year, drink safe water and access healthcare. This would also allow you to send your children to school, live in a decent home, save for unexpected setbacks and allow the elderly to retire with dignity.
International Women’s Day falls during Fairtrade fortnight – plan an event, bake a chocolate cake to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness of more that needs to be done.
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