THE CHALLENGE WITH WOMEN IN COFFEE
Of the world's estimated 1 billion poor, 70% are women. Women own less than 1% of the world’s titled land. The World Bank estimates that more than 500 MILLION PEOPLE throughout the world are dependent on coffee FOR THEIR LIVELIHOODS, and of that number, 25 million are coffee farmers. Unfortunately, coffee farmers typically live and work in substandard conditions, which are compounded by the fact that they receive only a small percentage of the actual price for which the coffee is sold to the consumer. Women, who represent a good majority of coffee farmers, face additional challenges. Aside from the day-to-day struggles women coffee farmers face in order to maintain a respectable standard of living, they also struggle with THE GENDER INEQUALITY prevalent throughout the world’s coffee growing regions.
Frequently suffering from abuse, neglect and poverty, women are unable to gain economic, social or political power in their family’s coffee business, or in their communities. Recognizing that women in consuming countries also hold an integral part in ensuring the success of coffee in the marketplace, six women had a vision that would bring together women in coffee from seed to cup in an effort to reduce these barriers and build a more sustainable future for women in coffee and their communities.
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) strives to create a difference in the world of coffee. With a mission to “empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry,” the IWCA, from its inception, has remained focused on promoting possibilities for women in coffee communities throughout the world. The IWCA offers an opportunity for social and economic empowerment.
The IWCA is a global network of women in coffee that advocates for the reduction of barriers for these women in coffee producing countries by providing access to resources while creating a forum in which to connect with other women throughout the coffee chain from seed to cup. Our goal is to give women the independence by empowering them with the knowledge and monetary support that will help shift the role of women in coffee growing communities.
Help make a change in the lives of these women by joining together with countless women and men in the coffee industry. Join, donate or volunteer your time and expertise to the IWCA and help us in our plight to promote possibilities for women in coffee around the world.