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Women in the Banana Export Industry. Regional Report on Latin America.

Working paper. Series for the World Banana Forum.









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    Document
    Women in the Banana Export Industry. Regional Report on West & Central Africa.
    Working paper. Series for the World Banana Forum.
    2015
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    ‘Women in the Banana Export Industry Regional Report on West & Central Africa’ is part of a global report on the economic aspects of gender issues in the banana sector. It analyses key issues for women workers with a particular focus on women’s employment in the region. The main roles carried out by women in the workplace are identified as are any advances towards Decent Work that have been made through multi stakeholder and project activity in West and Central Africa. The report will inform the gender work of the World Banana Forum. Women’s employment in the region varies from 11% in Côte d'Ivoire, to 21% in Cameroon. This is in part explained by the dominant operator in Ghana and Cameroon, Compagnie Fruitiere, being more restrictive of women’s employment in the field. The key issues for women across all three countries in the study (Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Cameroon) were low wages, hours of work, health and safety (in particular for pregnant women and nursing mothers, sexual harass ment and lack of childcare provision. Women experience a triple burden as plantation worker, domestic worker and child carer. In Cameroon and Ghana women reported earning less than men. Lack of education and training is a key barrier to better employment opportunities for women which companies are beginning to address. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between GAWU and Golden Exotics Ltd was an example of best practice, aiming to create a ’women friendly’ environment. Unions involved in the re port are active in gender training initiatives for women workers and representatives in partnership with British NGO, Banana Link, and the IUF. The African case shows that gender does not need to prevent women being employed in banana operations in both the field and packhouse, increasing job opportunities for women, although further research is needed to assess the impacts of greater numbers of women being employed in the field.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT IN THE BANANA INDUSTRY 2017
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    Women represent on average 43% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries. In most developing regions, agriculture is the main source of revenue for rural women. However, they typically earn less than men and have less job stability. In the banana industry, there is a tendency for women to be more represented in smaller scale production for domestic and regional markets while men tend to be more present in large scale banana production for the international export market. The World Ba nana Forum Working Group on Gender Equity launched a study in 2014, funded by FAO, to investigate and analyse the diverse levels of women’s employment in the banana export industry in the major production regions of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Gender equality, social protection and rural development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    Insights from the region
    2016
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    This publication is a collection of articles written by economists, sociologists, and gender specialists and practitioners from twelve post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. It is unique in its effort to review and analyze the issues that are at the intersection of gender equality, social protection and rural development in the region. Overall, there is a lack of research, documented knowledge and public discourse on this subject and a multi-disciplinary approa ch is necessary for ensuring an in-depth and rigorous understanding of these intersecting issues in the context of the region. In supporting this publication, the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia intends to draw attention to these issues as critical for the socio-economic development of the region, and raise greater awareness among all stakeholders and promote more research in this area. One of the main reasons why this subject remains on the periphery of research and discourse is the widespread public opinion that issues relating to gender have already been addressed and are, therefore, not priorities for rural development and social protection. Indeed, in the post-Soviet countries, women, including those located in rural areas, continue to enjoy relatively high levels of literacy and education and high economic activity rates. Furthermore, all countries, in an effort to sustain the achievements of the previous regime, have recognized the formal supremacy of internation al legal norms and UN standards, including in the area of gender equality and women’s rights. They have also been developing and implementing national policies towards achieving gender equality. However, if we look beyond the average numbers, and disaggregate available statistics by sex and by location wherever possible, we can see that in critical areas (for example, formal employment; access to social services such as childcare facilities and pensions; and participation in local governance, am ong others), rural women often emerge as the most disadvantaged group. There are also key issues, for example, access to productive resources (such as land, credits, agricultural equipment and extension services) that are of crucial importance to rural livelihoods but are not commonly viewed from a gender perspective. Across the region, women form a majority in the rural population, and a significant proportion of the labour force engaged in agriculture. However, the overarching trend in terms o f rural women’s employment is their engagement in informal, low-skilled and low-paid jobs. Women’s access to assets and productive resources is also significantly lower than that of rural men’s. Rural women’s participation in public life has reduced dramatically over the last decades, and generous social welfare is no longer a social norm.

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