Women make up almost half the agricultural labour force in developing countries. They make significant contributons as producers of the major agro-commodities such as coffee, soy, cocoa and palm oil, which billions of people consume everyday. Even so, their work in harvesting, marketing, processing and other areas is often uncounted and remains invisibile. At the same time, worldwide, women still have fewer land rights and other opportunities for training or financial support than their males counterparts. But, the time for change is now. Globally, we are seeing an unprecedented movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. In our work in key commodity producing countries, inspiring women like those profiled below are important participants of the government led, multi-stakeholder dialouges for sustaianble commodity production that we support. They are role models, improving opportunities for other women, and championing sustainability. 

 

Read their stories

Esperanza Dionisio has been manager of the Pangoa cooperative in the Amazonian forests of Peru's mountain range for more than 20 years. Concerned about the little value placed on women’s contribution as farmers, workers, and entrepreneurs in the coffee sector, in 1997, Esperanza developed the Women’s Committee of Pangoa Cooperative (CODEMU).

Posted on July 6, 2018

Concerned about the environmental impacts of soy farming, Blanca Saiki, who own a 500-hectre soy farm in Paraguay, is determined to change how this economically vital commodity is produced in her country. As a member of the steering committee for the National Commodity Platform on beef and soy, she has been instrumental in developing an action plan for making soy production more socially and environmentally responsible.

Posted on July 6, 2018

In Costa Rica, where fishing tourism and sport fishing generate over 60,000 direct and indirect jobs, one lively and empowered female figure stands out. With more than 28 years of experience in fishing tourism, Jeannette Pérez is truly a woman of the sea, and one of the female faces leading the fight to assure conditions for sustainability in this Central American country.

Posted on July 6, 2018