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Gender Inclusion

CLAC’s member organizations are composed by men and women that work daily to improve their families and communities living conditions. Although they represent a smaller percentage among the organizations, women are key players to achieve the economic, environmental and social changes that, through a fairer and supportive trade, we look for the rural and urban areas of our continent.

“Fair Trade looks for greater equity, not just commercial, but also human, in this sense gender equality is fundamental. In addition, Fair Trade seeks to improve the living conditions of producers and their families, where women are an integral part and it is crucial that their voices are heard”.

“Gender inclusion goes from decision-making to farm management”. Marike de Peña, CLAC President 2015-2018.

Our Gender Policy

Gender Policy, is an instrument that provides strategies to make progress in gender equality mainstreaming within CLAC, likewise it is a useful tool to encourage associate organizations to make use of this in empowerment processes of their memberships and their integral development.

Some organizations have a wide experience of which we can learn a lot and at the same time acknowledge that there are different experiences in CLAC’s membership.

For the elaboration of CLAC’s Gender Policy, the Gender Perspective in Development has been taken as a reference, from which the existing inequalities between men and women is acknowledged and for its addressing there are two strategies: the empowerment of women and the gender mainstreaming.

Implementation mechanism

From CLAC’s Board of Directors it was appointed a Gender and Youth Inclusion Commission, with the purpose of guiding and accompanying the staff in the strategies definition and implementation to favor inclusive processes in organization and their different structures, such as Country Networks and Product Networks.

How are we implementing the Gender Policy?

For the implementation of the gender mainstreaming process, CLAC has defined the following objectives:

  • Raise awareness in men and women of Small Producers and Workers Organizations, Country Networks, Product Networks, staff and board of directors about the importance of working for gender equality, under the principles and values of fair trade.
  • Motivate organizations to promote gender mainstreaming in their policy frameworks, by-laws, policies, budgets and affirmative action for women.
  • Strengthen women leadership for the exercise of their rights and responsibilities as associates within small producers organizations and workers organizations.

Likewise, an internal or institutional objective has been defined:

  • Capacity strengthening for the implementation of inclusive processes in CLAC.

Through aware-raising processes about gender mainstreaming approach, here at CLAC it has been considered important to be able to provide methodological material so that it can be replicated in more member organizations and different countries. This manual has 10 topics about processes that include self-esteem, leadership, human rights and gender, political participation, financial autonomy, economy for daily live, sexual division of labor, associative ideas and group work methodologies.

These contents were organized in a way that they can be experienced and implemented from the realities of producing and working women. We hope that with this material, women’s leadership in organizations can be promoted, for their active participation in fair trade organizations.

On the link below you can download the Methodological Manual of Women’s Leadership School:

Women’s leadership school

At the beginning of 2017, the last revision of the Methodological Manual of Women’s Leadership School was carried out. The Manual aims to provide practice and quality tools for the development of issues about gender and leadership awareness, especially to be addressed with women of small producers and workers organizations of fair trade. The first version was drafted as part of the program “El Salvador towards an inclusive development: women, men and young people from their organizations make economic development by promoting regional sustainable processes”.

This material was taken up as part of the joint strategic gender processes and the implementation of women empowerment and leadership schools processes carried out in 2015, between CLAC, TRIAS and other partners in El Salvador. These are some samples of progress made in CLAC regarding the commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable processes for organizations, as well as the building of alliances with other players involved with social change.

For women, to be involved in educational forums such as the Women’s Leadership School has been fundamental because it has allowed them to have a space, from popular methodology and topics, that has given them the opportunity to learn and share their experiences with other women; rising their levels of self-confidence.

Fidelina Zaldaña, a 43-year-old producer, who completed the Leadership School and graduated alongside 40 colleagues from more than 7 organizations (CLAC included) said that: “It was like the school I never had as a child and that opened up many doors. This school has been very valuable, helping me become a woman and mother because we discuss topics that we as women suffer in silence”.

Actions mapping

At the moment, there are being developed several workshops and formative actions with the aim of encouraging CLAC’s associate organizations about the importance of working for gender equality, under the principles and values of fair trade. With these actions we seek to motivate organizations to promote gender mainstreaming in their policy frameworks, by-laws, policies, budgets and affirmative action for women.

On the map, you can see the current distribution of the actions that are being carried out at the moment. If you belong to a CLAC’s member organization and want to receive more information about our work and impact, do not hesitate to contact us for the coordination of actions oriented towards Gender and Youth inclusion.

CLAC has the support of the Belgian NGO TRIAS. On the Andean Region, TRIAS ANDES supports inclusion processes through the alliance with Peruvian Fair Trade Network and the Ecuadorian Fair Trade Network. Likewise, a strategic alliance has been forged for gender and youth inclusion in CLAC with Central American TRIAS.

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México: Comisión de transversalización de género, jóvenes y protección infantil.

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Guatemala: Comisión Nacional de Género, en La Coordinara Nacional de Comercio Justo e implementación de proyectos específicos en el tema de género.

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El Salvador: Comisión de Inclusión de Género y Jóvenes en CESPPO y 4 OPPs, e implementación de política y estrategias.

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Nicaragua: Implementación de política y estrategias de género en La CNCJ

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Costa Rica: En proceso de elaboración de política de género de la CNCJ

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Panamá: En proceso de elaboración de política de género de la CNCJ

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República Dominicana: Talleres de sensibilización sobre género y masculinidades con OPPs y organizaciones de trabajadores(as)

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Colombia: Talleres de sensibilización sobre género y masculinidades con OPPs y organizaciones de trabajadores(as)

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Ecuador: Proceso de elaboración de Política de Género de La Coordinadora Ecuatoriana Comercio Justo.

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Perú: Proceso de elaboración de Política de Género de La Coordinadora Nacional de Comercio Justo Perú

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Bolivia: Talleres de sensibilización sobre género y masculinidades con OPPs.

Do not hesitate to contact CLAC to help you solve any questions regarding our work for the benefit of equality, gender equity and youth inclusion.

It will always be a pleasure to serve you!