Pricing fair trade products to include unpaid labour and empower women – the example of Nicaraguan sesame and coffee cooperatives

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Dokumentart: Article
Date: 2012
Source: Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 2-1, 2012
Language: English
Faculty: Kriminologisches Repository
Department: Kriminologie
DDC Classifikation: 330 - Economics
Keywords: Frau , Fairer Handel
Other Keywords:
unpaid work
sesame oil
Fair Trade
Body Shop International
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The paper discusses an initiative taking place in two cooperatives in Nicaragua. This involves the incorporation of a component for women’s unpaid work into the cost structures of Fair Trade contracts for coffee and sesame. The argument is that the unpaid work which is done mainly by women in the household and community represents an important input into production and one which should be valued and remunerated. Its recognition can both empower women and provide a fresh demonstration of the power of the cooperatives and Fair Trade in innovating so as to improve the conditions of disadvantaged people in their supply chains. The funding which has now been in place for two years has led to a number of very different projects for women. The involvement has spread not only to women doing unpaid work but also to women in low paid and marginalised jobs within the cooperatives. In particular, this raises the question of to whom the money allocated under this scheme should be paid, and whether it should primarily be used for collective or individual projects. This is an innovative development with the power fundamentally to change gender relations and empower women. It is significant that it is being pioneered in a poor country in the South rather than in the rich North.

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