Fair Trade`s Economic, Political, & Social Effects on Women

Fair Trade’s
Political, & Social
Effects on African
Annie, Jessica, & Nathan
“Development cannot be
achieved if fifty percent of the
population is excluded from
the benefits that it brings.”
“Poverty has a Female Face.”
United Nations Development Programme
Women in Africa
Male-dominating culture
Heavy discrimination
Primarily occupy the informal sector of the
economy or low-skilled jobs
Africa is ranked the lowest among all other
regions of the world in the percentage of
women in wage employment in the nonagricultural sector with a value of 8.5%
According to the World Bank, in both the public
and private sectors, only 1 in 26 salaried African
women are employed in a senior management
position, compared to 1 in every 6 men
Why study women and
Fair Trade in Africa?
 Africa
“has the largest number of individual
certified smallholders and workers
benefitting from the fair trade system” with
over 600,000 smallholders and workers
 76% of fair trade production performed by
 Observe the effectiveness of fair trade on
marginalized workers: Women
Literature Review
 Economic
Does Financing benefit African Women
By: Michael Fleshman
Fair Trade Foundation
 Political
World Fair Trade Organization
 Social
Fair Trade Cooperatives and Women's
By: Miranda Bernstein Beloit College
Swazi Indigenous Products (SIP)
 Fair
Trade is able to promote Economic
Autonomy, Women’s empowerment,
Improved Food Security, and related
HIV/AIDS concerns.
 Providing women with basic job training
skills and micro-credit opportunity
increased their control over their
reproductive health
 Economic empowerment
Improved Food Security
Theoretical Background
 Factor
endowment theory: fair trade
utilizes the abundance of cheap labor to
create highly demanded hand-made
 In a sense, the scarce “commodity” that is
imported, besides capital, is knowledge of
pricing and access to far more lucrative
international markets.
Economic Effects
 Small,
self-reliant, and stable
economies rise around the
foundation of fair trade
 Women allocate fair trade
related profits towards further
development of the
community and its’ economy.
Examples: education, creating
jobs, and improving
 Increased
access to credit
Global Mamas
Political Effects
UN Development Fund for Women
(UNIFEM), in its 2008 report Progress
of the World’s Women notes that
women will not reach parity with
men in legislatures in developing
countries until at least 2047 at
present rates of increase
In contrast, the majority of fair trade
operations are run by women.
Women managing fair trade
operations have substantial political
power within their communities.
Social Effects
 No
Discrimination Policy
 Small fair-trade activity has strong impact
upon women’s sense of empowerment,
ability to feed their households, and
orientation to HIV and health generally
 Household Gender Power Dynamics
Women Empowerment in
Africa: The Tintsaba Master
Weavers Experience
Started with 12 women in 1985
Trained 895 women in self
development and economic
“Improving incomes by
becoming highly skilled
Motivational and business
Mobile Homeopathic Clinic
Literacy Program
Conclusion: does fair trade help
improve lives for marginalized workers
such as women?
 Fair
trade can provide steady, fair,
income and humane working conditions
to people exploited by free trade.
 Women in particular are empowered due
to their better management of profits.
 The improvement is reflected even more
poignantly considering that Africa’s
culture generally gives women fewer and
inferior employment options compared to