We engage on gender at four levels. At the farm level, we support women’s income generating activities and ensure female farmers enjoy equal access to technical assistance. At the organisational level, we work with cooperatives to develop gender policies and establish women’s committees and leadership programmes. At the market level, we promote Women's Coffee, a differentiated product fully-traceable to women growers which supports gender initiatives. On the international stage, we advocate for women's rights and work with the food and drinks industry to highlight the vital role of women in agriculture.

Twin's approach to gender justice:

Gender justice icon
  • social and economic empowerment
  • equal, meaningful representation
  • gender policies & differentiated products
   

Case study: Leonille's Story

Leonille is coffee farmer and member of the Kopakama cooperative in the Karongi district of Rwanda on the shores of Lake Kivu. She is 43 and married with seven children.

Background

Founded in 1998, Kopakama has 615 members, including 247 women. Traditionally, most land in Rwanda is owned by men and consequently women farmers have less say over household expenditure. Kopakama set up the Women’s Coffee initiative in 2009 to support widows of the Rwandan genocide. Today, the initiative also helps other women farmers access land and achieve greater economic independence.

Leonille’s story

Leonille’s husband was the household member of Kopakama and delivered the harvest to the cooperative each season. He controlled information on the price and had the greatest say on how the money was spent. Once Leonille became a member in her own right in 2007, she learned new skills, such as how to save and plan for the future.

Leonille says: “My husband had about 800 trees and I had just a few, 85 or so. Every year when we got paid for the cherries we would fight. I didn’t know how much money we got or how it got spent. I had no control over the income we earned. So, I decided to become a member myself, in my own right. With the income from my few trees I started saving a little and began to take a bit more control over the household finances. I was able to buy more for the household than my husband had and I started paying for school fees. Now I have 325 trees, registered in my own name. I have increased my production. Things are much better now and I am now in full control of the household finances – I manage everything. Having control over the income is a big improvement for me.”