Women cocoa farmers are central to the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain and cocoa-growing communities. Too often unrecognized and undervalued, women’s labor makes significant contributions to the amount of cocoa produced, which is under increasing demand. Empowering women cocoa farmers not only has a positive impact on the lives of women, men and communities, but also has a business advantage. When women have control over their own income or family earnings, they reinvest in their families, children and communities, increasing the well-being and the sustainability of cocoa-growing communities.
Through its Behind the Brands campaign, Oxfam challenged the cocoa sector to take action to strengthen the rights of women cocoa farmers. Within months, they responded and made significant commitments to address women’s empowerment at the farm level. But there remains little shared knowledge of what emerging good practice actually looks like. This report provides examples of good practice to increase gender equality in the cocoa sector in West Africa, and shows where there is potential to make even greater change.