We are Women in Coffee!: An explanatory case study of Fairtrade’s gendered impact on female and male farmers of a Fairtrade certified Kenyan coffee cooperative
Sammanfattning: Due to globalisation, the world is becoming increasingly intertwined with complex globaltrade networks linking producers and consumers through largely unequal relationships.Fairtrade addresses this inequality by supporting the vulnerable producers. However, this isoften done without disaggregating impact by gender though various scholars have noted thatmen and women are generally affected differently by interventions. This thesis thereforeexplores the heterogeneous experiences and perceptions of Fairtrade for female and malefarmers of the Kenyan Fairtrade certified cooperative Kabngetuny Farmers CooperativeSociety, located in a small rural village called Chepkechei in Great Rift Valley. By usinggender analysis the gendered impact of Fairtrade is examined in order to answer the main aimof this study: whether Fairtrade can lead to women’s empowerment and gender equality. Theresearch was carried out April-May 2015 as a Minor Field Study, employing a qualitativeexplanatory case study, mainly using participatory observation and focus group interviews.The study revealed that due to different gender roles and highly separated gender divisions oflabour female and male farmers are affected differently by Fairtrade. It moreover showed thatFairtrade has positively impacted the income of women, but with marginal alteration ofcurrent gender roles. Neither has it challenged women’s subordination to a significant degree.Hence, it only partially empowers women and addresses gender inequalities. However, sinceit is a continuing initiative, its impact has to be investigated anew to assess its actual impactover time. I believe that this study will contribute to the understanding of how gender worksas a differentiating and separating mechanism through gender divisions of labour andsubsequently assigned gender roles. My study has pointed out the different outcomes men andwomen experience from Fairtrade, and how these can be addressed for Fairtrade to achievewomen’s empowerment and gender equality.
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