Cooperatives Empower Women in Nicaragua

Arrosteguis is one of 78 participants in a project that seeks to recognise the unpaid work of women in Nicaragua’s agriculture sector. “Women provide integral support to the farming process, whether it’s preparing food at home, say, or helping directly with the harvest. But this work is always overlooked,” says Juan Bravo, managing director of the Juan Francisco Paz Silva cooperative to which Arrosteguis belongs.

In an effort to correct this, the cooperative approached its largest buyer – UK-based retailer The Body Shop – and requested that the value of women’s traditional roles be formally included as a cost in the production process. As a result, the contract now factors in the work of women. To date, the deal has generated additional income for the cooperative of about $30,000 (£19,000).

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