Gender Equality

Rebalancing gender inequality to make trade more equitable and fair is at the core of Fairtrade India’s work.

Around 60-80 % of the world’s food is grown by women.

Women hardly make up for10-20% of landowners in developing countries.

Women don't reap
what they sow

Around the world, women are not treated equitably. Though women make up the majority of people producing food, they rarely receive their share of the benefits of their hard labour. Fairtrade works to address this gender gap.

This looks different from country to country and region to region, but the root problem is the same. For women in agriculture of developing countries, life can be particularly tough.

Challenges faced by women in agriculture:

  • Don’t have control of the money they earn
  • Don’t own land. Consequently, they are linked neither to ownership of the crop produced nor the family land.
  • Don’t get elected as leaders as the role of women in society and sociocultural norms often pose a barrier in women being elected as leaders.
  • Many women are reluctant to voice their opinions even as they continue to do the majority of unpaid farm work.
  • Don’t have access to education, training or supplies and are often discriminated against when applying for credit

the Gender Gap

Our gender strategy supports farming organizations in tackling the unequal power relationships that hold women back in the workplace and in society. We focus on increasing women and girls’ human, social, financial and physical capital to rebalance power structures between people of different genders.

Fairtrade producer groups commit to:

  • No discrimination on the basis of gender or marital status
  • Zero tolerance of behaviour that is sexually intimidating, abusive or exploitative
  • No testing for pregnancy when recruiting workers
  • Programmes to support disadvantaged and minority groups, such as women
  • Developing a gender policy, over time

Empowering women

To be a Fairtrade producer there are strict rules and regulations that stamp out bias and discrimination based purely on gender. We work with farmers to implement gender policies and goals. A producer organisation that doesn’t support equality cannot be Fairtrade certified.

We want women to be empowered to increase their participation in the governance process, to participate in workshops such as leadership programs and to get savvy when it comes to market info, getting credit and improving how they farm.

See the Standards To learn more about Fairtrade International’s Global Gender Strategy here.

Producer Stories

Padma Bai

Heading the village in
a Fair direction.

Lingu Bai

Entrepreneur of
a new future.


Running towards
a brighter tomorrow.

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