On the 11th of February, the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Both science and gender equality are vital for the achievement of international development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past decade, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women in science. Yet there is still a lot of progress to be made. A major theme for 2022 is recognising women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as agents of change.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 60-80% 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.
  • Farmers are on the front line of climate change. For millions of farming families and communities worldwide, the impacts of climate change are a daily reality.
  • Fairtrade farmers, producers and workers are becoming more resilient to climate change. They can do this by spending their Fairtrade Premium on projects such as tree planting, irrigation, crop diversification and clean energy, which are more sustainable on a local level but also contribute to the global fight against climate change

The value of empowering women in farming, through access to education and technology, has very real implications in the world of food production. Fairtrade embraces this idea and works to address gender gaps at every level, knowing that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to the economic development of the world but progress across sustainable development and climate change. 

Montville Coffee has been fortunate to witness development in this area over the last ten years. It is very exciting for us to witness the whole-hearted participation of women growers in events such as scientific agronomy workshops organised by Fairtrade in areas like Papua New Guinea. Here most coffee farmers are women, but they do not always have access to the spaces where learning takes place or where scientific data and insights are shared. 

This photo tells the story of women cooperative members in PNG learning with Hernando Tapasco from the Coffee Quality Institute. Women and youth were encouraged to attend intensive training sessions that covered best practices in coffee picking, drying, fermentation and storage. The women in the photograph are using a refractometer, which measures the sugar content in the coffee, a process that will enable them to retain greater integrity in their processing.


Choosing Fairtrade products is a simple way to support the empowerment of women and girls in science in tough conditions. 

A little bit more…

Did you know?

  • Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women.
  • In cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
  • Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
  • Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.



February 21, 2022 — Lauren Scaroni