Empowering Women: A Labor Rights-Based Approach: Case Studies from East African Horticultural Farms
- 387 Downloads
This article discusses the hitherto little-studied question of women workers’ empowerment through access to labor rights in the east African export horticultural sector. It is based on the work carried out by Women Working Worldwide and its east African partners, drawing on primary research on cut-flower farms in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The focus in discussions of women’s empowerment has tended to be on individual actors rather than collective strategies. We argue that strategies such as action research, education, organization and advocacy focusing on labor rights are effective in gendered empowerment and can bring positive change to women’s working lives on African farms, and beyond.
KeywordsGender Labor East Africa Empowerment Horticulture Trade unions
Bénédicte Brahic and Susie Jacobs would like to thank Melanie Plank for her kind help in carrying out the literature search.
- Action Aid et al. (2012). What works for women, background paper. London (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Amoding, F. (2011). Email correspondence with WWW. 25 July.Google Scholar
- Banik, D. (2008). Rights, legal empowerment and poverty: An overview of the issues. In D. Banik (Ed.), Rights and legal empowerment in eradicating poverty (pp. 11–30). London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Barrientos, S. (2007). Female employment in agriculture: Global challenges and global responses. London: Commonwealth Secretariat, www.pathwaysofempowerment.org/CommSec_Barrientos.pdf. Accessed April 15 2012.
- Comic Relief. (2012). Feedback on the evaluation report. Email correspondence with WWW. 16 January.Google Scholar
- Elson, D. (1995). Overcoming male bias. In D. Elson (Ed.), Male bias in the development process (pp. 191–210). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
- Forum for Environment (FfE). (2009). 6 month report, September, 2008–February 2009, Addis Ababa (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Hale, A. (1996). The deregulated global economy: Women workers and strategies of resistance. In C. Sweetman (Ed.), Women, employment and exclusion (pp. 8–15). Oxford: Oxfam.Google Scholar
- Kabeer, N. (1994). Reversed realities: Gender hierarchies in development thought. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Kumar, K. (1995). From post-industrial to post-modern society. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Labuschagne, L. (2008). Flower farming: Kenyan floriculture leads the way. Pesticides, 82(12), 6–7.Google Scholar
- Marix Evans, L. (2011). Evaluation report—Ethiopia and Tanzania. Manchester (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Mather, C., et al. (2011). Learning together—An educational manual for workers on flower and vegetable export farms of East/South Africa. Manchester: WWW.Google Scholar
- Mayoux, L. (2002). Women’s empowerment or feminisation of debt? Towards a new agenda in African microfinance. London: One World Action.Google Scholar
- Mosha, P. (2011). Email correspondence with WWW, 20 July.Google Scholar
- Munro, A. (1999). Women, work and trade unions. London: Mansell.Google Scholar
- National Federation of Farm Plantation Fishery and Agro Industry Trade Unions (NFFPFATU) (2010). Draft action research report, Addis Ababa (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Odete, E. (2011). Evaluation report, Uganda. Manchester (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Parpart, J., Rai, S., & Staudt, K. (Eds.). (2003). Rethinking empowerment: Gender and development in a global/local world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Pearson, R. (2007). Reassessing paid work and women’s empowerment: Lessons from the global economy. In A. Cornwall, E. Harrison, & A. Whitehead (Eds.), Feminisms in development (pp. 201–213). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
- Randall, V. (1996). Gender and power: Women engage the State. In V. Randall, G. Waylen, & A. Whitehead (Eds.), Gender, politics and the state (pp. 185–205). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (2001). Introduction: Inquiry and participation in a world worthy of human aspiration. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of action research (1st Edition ed., pp. 8–14). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Rowlands, J. (1997). Questioning empowerment: Working with women in Honduras. Oxford: Oxfam.Google Scholar
- Sen, G., & Grown, C. (1988). Development, crises and alternative visions. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Stromqvist, N. (2002). Education as a means of empowering women. In J. Parpart, S. Rai, & K. Staudt (Eds.), Rethinking empowerment: Gender and development in a global/local world (pp. 22–37). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Tanzania Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (TPAWU) (2005). Promoting women’s rights in African horticulture, progress report, February–July 2005. Dar-es-Salaam (unpublished).Google Scholar
- Townsend, J., et al. (1999). Women and power: Fighting patriarchies and poverty. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
- TPAWU. (2006). Case studies from Tanzania. Dar-es-Salaam: (unpublished).Google Scholar
- TPAWU (2007). Report on the situation and needs of horticulture workers in the international supply chain—the case of Tanzania. Dar-es-Salaam (unpublished).Google Scholar
- TPAWU. (2009). TPAWU 6 month report, October 2008–March 2009. Dar-es-Salaam: (unpublished).Google Scholar
- TPAWU. (2011). Action research report: Factors affecting labor conditions in the horticulture industry in Tanzania http://www.women-ww.org/documents/Research-Booklet-TPAWU.pdf. Accessed 15 April 2012.
- Uganda Workers’ Education Association (UWEA). (2007). Case studies from Uganda. Kampala (unpublished).Google Scholar
- UWEA. (2009). UWEA 6 month report, October 2008–March 2009. Kampala: (unpublished).Google Scholar
- UWEA. (2010). UWEA 6 month report, October 2009–March 2010. Kampala: (unpublished).Google Scholar
- UWEA. (2011a). UWEA 6 month report, October 2010–March 2011. Kampala: (unpublished).Google Scholar
- UWEA. (2011b). Developing strategies for change for women workers in African Horticulture, the case of Uganda http://www.women-ww.org/documents/UWEA-final-research-report.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2012.
- UWEA. (2011c). “We are dying”. Impacts of pesticides on workers on. Ugandan horticultural farms. http://www.fian.at/assets/Report-on-pesticide-impacts-Uganda-2011-final.pdf. Accessed April 15 2012.
- Walby, S. (1997). Gender transformations. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Wills, J., & Hurley, J. (2005). Action research: Tracing the threads of labor. In A. Hale & J. Wills (Eds.), Threads of labor, garment industry supply chains from the workers’ perspective (pp. 69–94). Oxford: Blackwel.Google Scholar
- Women Working Worldwide (WWW). (2007). Promoting women workers’ rights in African horticulture http://www.women-ww.org/documents/www_research_overview_final.pdf. Accessed 15 April 2012.