Gender inequality for women in coffee production in East Africa
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Coffee is not only a popular beverage around the world, but also a major source of income for millions of people, especially in countries in East Africa. According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), up to 70% of workers in coffee production in East Africa are women. They are involved in all the work such as sowing seeds, tending plants, harvesting fruit and processing. However, women – the great contributors to the coffee production process are often overlooked and treated unfairly compared to men. They also face many social and cultural barriers stemming from lack of education, lack of division of power, and domestic violence. This seriously affects the rights and human rights of women as well as ethics and sustainability in the whole industry. Why is there this injustice? How to improve gender inequality in the coffee industry? Let’s also find out 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!
Inequality against women in coffee production in East Africa
Unequal distribution of labor
Women play an important role in East African agriculture, especially in the coffee sector. According to the world’s leading agency for international development – USAID, the number of female workers in these regions accounts for a very large part. In which, explosive explosions can be mentioned as Burundi accounted for 96%, Kenya 76%, Rwanda 84%, Tanzania 71%, Uganda 77%,….
Not only do they make up the bulk of the population, East African women often take on the hardest jobs. In coffee farms in East Africa they are the ones who do all the planting, pruning, weeding, fertilizing, replacing old trees, etc. Lorraine Girinka – KALICO Communications Manager, “In Burundi, women play an important part in the entire coffee production process,” says a woman-founded coffee company in Burundi. Whether the farm belongs to themselves or their husbands, women are mostly responsible for taking care of the coffee plants to keep them healthy from seeding to harvest.
Inequality in benefits
East African women have always been the main workers and hard workers, but they do not benefit equally from their work. They are often limited in decision making about coffee production and consumption, as well as in their access to finance and resources.
Max Peters – a coffee expert in Tanzania also said that in Tanzania, most coffee farms are owned by men, but women are the main workers. They also do not have a say in making decisions on the farm or receive a fair amount of effort. The Farming First report shows similar injustice in Uganda. In this region, women account for 58% of the coffee growing workforce and 72% of the post-harvest processing workforce, but men earn much higher incomes. This is also pointed out in the Specialty Coffee Association’s 2015 Report on Gender Equality in East Africa, where men earn an average of more than $700 per coffee season, while women earn just over $700 per coffee season. less than 450 USD. This affects women’s opportunities to participate in economic, political and social activities, as well as causes violence and discrimination based on gender.
Why are East African women treated unequal in coffee production?
Gender inequality is a serious and complex problem in many countries around the world. One of the causes of gender inequality is stereotypes and misconceptions about women’s roles and abilities in society. A concrete example of this is the story of Max Peters’ mother – a woman who works in the coffee industry. His mother often faced difficulties and disadvantages just because she was a woman. Some people think that she will not be able to take on a leadership role in coffee production because she will have trouble with operating methods, administrative procedures and paperwork. They thought it would be easier to hire a man to solve these problems. Max’s mother was also discriminated against in terms of salary distribution and when she wanted to exercise decision-making, access financial resources, or participate in training and seminars offered by the organization. But the same people who refused her were willing to invite Max to their training courses because he was a man.
In addition to prejudices and personal thoughts, culture and social policies are also factors causing this inequality. In many East African countries there are institutions and policies that exclude women from senior roles. Such regulations and policies will cause women to be ostracized, ostracized and not have the same opportunity for career development as men. Some regions even have a long tradition that the heirs of coffee farms must be male members. They are not even encouraged to go to school but participate in coffee farming to earn money for their families. Therefore, it is almost impossible for women here to own or be empowered to run a coffee farm.
How to improve gender inequality in coffee production in East Africa?
To overcome this gender inequality, change from many aspects is needed. This is not an easy job. The first and most urgent is the need to change social and cultural perceptions of women’s roles and rights. We need to make people aware of their competence and importance to the development of the industry as a whole. Women have been involved in coffee production in East Africa for a long time, so they have valuable skills and experience in this area. We need to respect and recognize the value of their knowledge and skills.
In addition, improving women’s access to finance and resources is also of great significance. In recent times, cooperative associations have begun to provide training and technical assistance to women working in the coffee industry to help them acquire the necessary resources and knowledge. In addition, several countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Burundi have established the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) to empower them. The organization will provide women with best practices for weeding, pruning, mulching, harvesting, and processing so that women can practice these practices more effectively – potentially increasing yields. quantity and quality.
However, after implementing the above measures, women still make up a very low percentage of many East African coffee cooperatives. To improve this situation, many women have set up women-only cooperatives on their own to ensure they have a more equal role with men in accessing finance in coffee production.
It can be seen that women are the main support in East African coffee workers, but they are suffering many injustices in society. They are not entitled to both financial benefits and development opportunities. This not only harms women, but also weakens the production and development capacity of the coffee industry. To overcome this situation, it is necessary to change the consciousness and attitude of the whole society towards women, as well as create favorable conditions for women to express their abilities and voice. in economic, political and social activities. What are your thoughts on this matter? 43 Factory Coffee Roaster always pursues ethical, responsible and fair coffee beans with all communities and the whole industry. Come here to enjoy the taste of equality and civilization!