Friday 8th March is International Women's Day – a celebration of women’s triumphs both small and great that have moved them further towards equality, and it's a rallying cry for how much there is still to do before women around the world can enjoy the same opportunities, choices and freedoms as men – one of the key objectives of our Sustainable Development Goals.

International Women's Day logo

 

For 20 years we've been supporting and championing women farmers here at Divine Chocolate. 

 

Women contribute a significant amount of the labour on a cocoa farm, including much of the work related to fermentation and drying of beans – the key stages that ensure product quality.

Despite women’s important contribution, cocoa farming is largely regarded as men’s work, and women have historically had little access to the income from cocoa farming. Divine is working to change that.
 
Women cocoa farmers are common in Ghana. But they tend to have smaller, less productive farms. Low levels of literacy, due to historic lack of education for girls, makes women less able to participate in training and more susceptible to being cheated.
 
Kuapa Kokoo has prioritised equal participation and equal access for women since its founding. Women have been learning a range of income-generating skills, and being encouraged to take positions of responsibility throughout the organisation. 
 
 
Divine supports women's training programs. According to a study commissioned by Divine, Kuapa, and Twin on nearly two decades of work with women, here's why:
  • Equal training for women in cocoa farming practices helps women improve farm productivity and cocoa quality
  • Advancement of women as recorders (elected buying clerks) provides opportunities to earn additional income
  • Women who earned extra household income used that money to keep their children, including girls, in school longer than families in villages where women’s training was not as available
  • Making women a priority leads women members of Kuapa to be loyal and encourages women to advocate for other women to join the cooperative. Kuapa is viewed as a positive resource for women. 

 

Kuapa’s Women’s Programs increase training for women in cocoa farming practices to help women improve farm productivity and cocoa quality. The training prioritises the following:

  • Facilitating the advancement of women as recorders (elected buying clerks) to provide opportunities to earn additional income 
  • Ensuring that women’s groups are rolled out across all 58 cocoa farming districts
  • Increasing literacy and numeracy training for women to enable them to earn income through other enterprises such as selling vegetables, clothing or baked goods.

 

We've collated a timeline detailing developments for Kuapa Kokoo women in Ghana as well as development projects in collaborating with Kuapa Kokoo which dates back to 1993 when Kuapa Kokoo was founded - Read our Women's Report here

 
 
 
 
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