Achieving Gender Justice by Fair Trade Enterprises

Leida Rijnhout, Chief Executive, World Fair Trade Organization

 IWD 2023

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is the global community and verifier of social enterprises that fully practice Fair Trade, spread across 76 countries.

Fair Trade Enterprises see women as crucial actors in the transitioning of the present unsustainable economies into fair and green ones.

Through Fair Trade, WFTO implements gender justice, understood as the full equality and equity between women and men in all spheres of life, and works every day to make this alternative business model the norm.

For WFTO, a gender-inclusive business model can be achieved through:

  • Using all opportunities for women entrepreneurs to flourish and supporting women-led enterprises, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES).
  • Advocating for political and economic frameworks where women are not underpaid or silenced, but have equal access to economic and social opportunities.
  • Showing that doing business without exploitation of the workforce and the environment is possible. Showcasing enterprises that don’t exploit women, but rather give equal opportunities to them by providing  training, making them use their legal rights and giving them leadership. 

On this year’s International Women’s Day, WFTOs’ members, hundreds of Fair Trade Enterprises #EmbraceEquity by embodying an inclusive business model, and campaigning against deep-rooted male-values-dominated business models that fosters competition over collaboration and hierarchical structures that prevent female-values from reaching their full potential. 



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