Without women there would be no coffee. All too often we forget their role in coffee production. They are present in almost 100% of the farms and active in the different production processes. But their participation in decision-making, in participation in training processes, in access to financial resources and management of revenue it is low. That is not different in Colombia.
In 2015 HRNS Colombia started with an entrepreneurship project with women from the coffee producer association Asojardin in the municipality of Mistrato, Risaralda, Colombia. “The purpose of this project was to train women on gender issues and entrepreneurship. We needed to take into account that women usually participate in the coffee growing process, but usually do not make decisions, their work is not remunerated and they does not participate in business processes”, says Beatriz Fischersworring who was HRNS Country Manager Colombia during that time.
“In the beginning we had 30 coffee women participating in this entrepreneurship project”, says Fischersworring. Topics were awareness raising on gender equity issues. An entrepreneurship and microfinance training was developed that concluded with the formulation of a productive project on their farms. Women got access to seed capital for this. “This should support the women to crystallize their dreams, have their own coffee plot and generate their own income”, says Fischersworring. The women committee writes about the following progress: “To organize ourselves as women, to participate actively in all the trainings, to encourage the spouses and partners of Asojardin to support us as Women”
In the general, during meetings and assemblies of our association women participate actively, we help to make decisions, we have a word.
In 2018, 26 women already have their own project generating income for them. In addition, women have been trained in coffee management and production, and the women group have sold a first “women coffee“.
The other part is participation in decision making on the farm and in the organisation. “We at HRNS tried to give visibility and voice to the women and their daughters, and allow empower them to realize their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their families and generate new opportunities”, Fischersworring summarizes. And the project showed significant results: In 2017, women had a majority on the board of directors of Asojardin. One of them is Mary Luz: “With the creation of the Women’s Committee increase the representation of women in the association. Now the Women’s Committee is taken into account to represent the Association in coffee events in the Municipality and the department, to attend almost all the activities that different institutions linked to coffee bring together, and to participate in the marketing of women’s coffee.”