In Africa, women often take a leading role in coffee
production but have little say over the proceeds. Traditionally, few women are
members of their co-operative, since the land deeds are registered in their
husband’s names. This can leave women with limited power and say over income
and expenditure. The knock-on effects are significant, since women usually take
first responsibility for children, food, health and education.
The JMI co-operatives are part of a movement to change
this. Women farmers are leaders in the co-operatives, sit on the boards and
head up their primary society village-level co-operatives. They are members of
the co-operatives in their own right. At Gumutindo, farmers have gone one step
further in promoting fully traceable ‘Women’s Coffee’ with a premium paid
towards projects which support women’s empowerment..
GALS_Woman_BJCWomen are taking part in workshops in
their communities, with their husbands, to recognise and together change the
power imbalances and move towards living in households where decisions and
responsibilities are more equal. Leading the way in this work are the members
of Bukonzo Joint Co-operative in Western Uganda. Here is an example of their
approach, which they are now helping to replicate across East Africa.