Fairtrade Africa empowers cocoa sector women with gender training

Fairtrade Africa, through its Sustainable, Democratic, and Inclusive Cocoa Cooperatives in West Africa Project, has held a graduation ceremony for 26 students who received gender training at the Women’s School of Leadership.

The graduates, all women, comprised producers, farmers, and cooperatives, received training that equipped them with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to realize their full potential and make informed decisions about their future.

This gender training initiative is a significant step towards promoting gender equality in the cocoa sector as it empowers women to take on leadership roles and contribute to decision-making processes within the sector.

Ms. Madeline Muga, Strategy and Impact Director at Fairtrade Africa, attended the graduation ceremony in Koforidua, the eastern regional capital, where she addressed the newly passed trainees.

She explained that the Sustainable Democratic Inclusive Cocoa Cooperatives in West Africa Project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) with support from SPAR and NorgesGruppen.

She said the training formed part of Fairtrade Africa’s efforts to address the historical marginalization of women in the cocoa industry and promote sustainable development.

She said 65 percent of women in the workforce constituted the agricultural sector and ensure food security in the country.

However, their significant roles remained marginalized, relegated to the production end of the value chain, with limited access to decision-making spaces and economic opportunities.

Thus, Ms Muga noted the organisation recognised the importance of empowering women and youth to create an inclusive work environment where all genders and ages have a voice in shaping their future.

“Through initiatives like the Women’s School of Leadership, we are equipping women and youth with the skills and knowledge needed to take on leadership roles and participate in decision-making processes,” she said.

She urged the government, Civil Society Organisations, businesses, and individuals to prioritize women and youth empowerment as a key driver of inclusive and equitable progress.

She also called on stakeholders to support the empowerment of women and youth as a catalyst for positive change.

In her capacity as Gender and Inclusion Officer, Ms. Gloria Tompoli, Gender and Inclusion Officer at Fairtrade Africa in in Ghana’s NORAD Project, engaged with the beneficiaries and trained them under the Women’s School of Leadership, empowering them to become ambassadors and leaders who can inspire and train other women on leadership and gender equity.

The graduates received certificates of participation in the Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive Cocoa Cooperatives in West Africa Project, a testament to their commitment to promoting gender equality and social inclusion in the cocoa sector.

Fairtrade is part of the global Fairtrade movement and a membership organisation representing over 1.44 million farmers and workers across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Source: GNA

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