Women have a key role to play in fair trade business. They form a significant number in the populations targeted by fair trade policies. Businesses that wish to leave a positive effect in the lives of their raw material suppliers subscribe to fair trade policies of international trade. Through fair trade, they are able to promote an equitable use of resources and fair pricing of commodities. Part of the goals of fair trade is to promote the active role of women in internal trade as a way of improving livelihoods of suppliers in developing countries. Here is a breakdown of how women participate in fair trade business.
Many communities in developing parts of the world have male chauvinistic characteristics that discriminate women's participation in any form of economic activity. The only way for women to earn a living is by participating in the production process as part of a group that offers equal rights. Businesses that adopt fair trade are encouraged to pay fair trade social premiums to such groups as a way of making international trade equitable. Within such groups, women are free to embark on developmental activities using the money they earn. Groups cushion the women against their husbands' tendency to deny them the right to spend what they earn in a way that is most beneficial to them.
The gender equality policy forms the core of fair trade as it seeks to uplift many women into better paying jobs and leadership roles. When women have access to leadership positions, they are able to make economic policies and decisions that affect other women who are the majority of low skilled workers in developing nations. Their participation helps to alleviate their dependency on income of their male counterparts. As a result, they are able to improve the nutrition intake of their families, keep their children educated and healthy and generally boost the economic growth of their respective countries.
When companies participate in fair trade practices, they must cultivate appropriate trade relations that leave a positive social economic impact on their target producers. Women are capable of making decisions that lead to social growth for small producers. They understand the challenges that households face because in most cases they are responsible for managing their households. At a community level, women are the custodians of rituals, customs, and aspirations. They are able to pin point the acceptable forms of innovation that will promote cultural exchanges and facilitate knowledge transfer. When given the chance to participate in the formulating of trade relations, they are able to highlight the issues affecting small producers such as the necessary interventions needed to put them into world maps of commodity producers.
As explained above, women continue to gain remarkably by participating in fair trade business ventures. They are more accountable than men are and therefore serve as the vessels for community empowerment. Women who hold leadership and management roles in organizations and initiatives started out of fair trade opportunities help their communities grow out of poverty and meet their living expenses in an economically sustainable way.