Empowering Women: A Labor Rights-Based Approach: Case Studies from East African Horticultural Farms



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.


Gender 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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