CmiA Promotes the Empowerment of Women
In Sub-Saharan Africa, improving the living conditions of smallholder farmers is directly associated with the advancement of women. Female cotton farmers do most of the work in the field and in the home and look after the entire family's welfare. Against this backdrop, CmiA advocates women's rights and their position in society together with its partners. In addition to the principles set out in the CmiA criteria measures for the equality of men and women, the CmiA initiative focuses on different activities: These include adapting training in sustainable cotton production to the needs of female participants and training many female cotton farmers to become lead farmers in order to strengthen their role within the training groups. Employees of the cotton companies receive training in gender equality and women's representative are established as a regular contact person within the company. In addition, the female farmers involved receive easier access to loans and their own contracts with the cotton companies to earn their own income. The female farmer groups also serve as role models for others. They often have an elected governing body and plant cotton as well as other crops together. The women reinvest the income they generate as a group, for example in the construction of a warehouse, in setting up a chicken farm, or in education for their children. To foster this engagement, Cotton Made in Africa has set up a Community Cooperation Program to further support women in the rural cotton growing areas in Africa.