Inequalities between family members add to the challenges faced by rural farming families and hamper their efforts towards improving their livelihoods.

We support farming families on their way to a more balanced family life. This includes to distribute household responsibilities equitably, share the income from coffee and food crop production, and make decisions as a family so that all family members can benefit.

In all our interventions, we focus on coffee as a family business to ensure the highest benefit for the family and profitability of the farmer organizations. We mainstream our gender approach in our main activities:

1. Access To Trainings On Climate-Smart Agronomy Practices

Improved climate-smart agronomy practices and engaging men more in traditional women’s chores and making joint household plans allows women to free up their daily schedules and participate in trainings.

2. Improved Organizational Development & Entrepreneurship

Self-reliant and transparent farmer organizations — crucial for modern smallholder agriculture — depend on women’s active participation to ensure its positive impact on the livelihoods of families.  We provide women with leadership and business skills so that they can take on positions in farmer organizations and start their own businesses.

3. Empowering Young People

Gender imbalances emerge out of cultural and traditional practices and are passed on from one generation to the next. This is why it is crucial to work across generations and empowering young people – especially when they are on the brink of starting their own families.

“We are lucky to have these gender tips. It guides us. We are now open-minded. We can see our future. Families often collapse. But nowadays we are lucky having the gender knowledge. We all know if you love your partner and let her participate in decisions and trainings and have ownership, the family stays strong.”

Stated by our male change agent Akimu Kibona, Mlangali DC, Mbozi and shared by Julius

At HRNS the work focuses on the family unit as the backbone of society. We address gender equality on household level and support households to change their traditional way of collaboration.

Our Gender Household Approach is scientifically sound and targets both women and men. It promotes agricultural production as a family business where all members benefit equally from the proceeds because decisions are made jointly about how to increase and invest farm income. In this way, coffee production becomes more attractive and families can better cope with everyday challenges such as volatile markets and a changing climate. Couple seminars form the building block of the approach and introduce the idea of gender equality to both women and men. Following the couple seminars, interested couples voluntarily sign up to become Change Agents. Change Agents become multipliers for gender equality by sharing their own experiences about planning together for the future, making joint investments into their family and sharing household chores.


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In Central America, our Gender Transformative Methodology combines leadership trainings for women and masculinity workshops with men, followed by couple seminars and change agent workshops. Women acquire important skills and self-confidence while at the same time men need to start to reflect and change their role within their families.

Increasing gender equality does not only empower women—it empowers everyone!

Through our gender-work at Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), we are committed to contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):