Around 60-80 percent of the world’s food is grown by women. Yet they often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it. Fairtrade works to address this gender gap.

Fairtrade set up the Women’s School of Leadership, in Cote D’Ivoire, to support female farmers to generate more income through smarter farming, and give them the confidence and skills to set up businesses and be leaders in the Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperatives that they are part of and in their local communities. 


The program launched in May 2017 and the first group of 19 women and 3 men joined the school. Men are also students on the course, working to become gender champions and help spread the word in communities of the benefits of equality and how women can positively contribute to the local economy. 


“Through my participation in the School, everything changed. I realised how much I could do for my cooperative, my community and my personal projects. For me, Fairtrade is a label which fights for the well being of the producers, a movement that gives producers the opportunity to decide their own futures. It is also a system where the producers are, at the same time, Beneficiaries and owners.” Julienne Assoko producer, Cooperative Capressa

Fairtrade is helping to challenge the gender gap, enabling women to stake their claim and succeed on their own terms.

Fairtrade Standards are designed to prevent gender inequality, increase female participation and empower more women and girls to access the benefits of Fairtrade.

Article by Fairtrade ANZ for Fairtrade Fortnight 2020

November 09, 2020 — Karen Barnett