Women’s cooperatives – what they do and why they matter

Women's cooperatives - what they do and why they matter

Women earn their own money in women’s cooperatives. But there is more to it than that. We explain how cooperatives can lift women out of poverty.

Women’s cooperatives offer women in countries such as Africa, Asia or South America the opportunity to free themselves from poverty or other difficult life situations. By uniting, they can better pursue their goals and support each other.

The cooperative is something like one cooperative, in which, for example, farmers join together. The women in the cooperative are also the owners and determine themselves for what they want to use the profits they have made together.

For example, they buy machines that make their hard work in the fields easier. The money can also be used to give women access to further training or medical care. The cooperative is thus something of an own bank and insurance.

Advantages of women’s cooperatives

Women’s cooperatives help other people too in the region: The UN women’s organization reports, for example, about a women’s cooperative in whose members lend money to women who, for example, become self-employed.

The women regularly receive one in their cooperatives fair wages and are socially covered. Together they can work for better and safer working conditions.

This is especially true for cooperatives in countries like. There, only 25 percent of the officially registered agricultural workers are women. The unofficial share of consequences is, however, 75 percent. It is not known whether and how much wages these unofficial workers receive.

According to the, women in mixed cooperatives are often given access to further developments denied. Important information and suggestions for improvement, e.g. Cultivation methods therefore often do not reach women who do the work on the plantations. It works differently in women’s cooperatives: women also receive further training here. This affects the quality of your goods.

Women’s cooperatives: important for the region

Women earn their own money with their goods. (Photo: CC0 / pixabay / rockyrobbie85)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (), field workers in the global south are key to being effective against poverty and hunger proceed.

  • The FAO shows that women in these regions do about 45 percent of the field work. In addition to that, they also need to do other tasks, such as cooking meals and caring for children. Nevertheless, the fields rarely belong to women – some of them cannot inherit them.
  • But the studies also show that women are different with theirs Avoid money: Women spend up to 90 percent of their own income on their families. They buy high-quality food and pay for medical care and children’s schooling.
  • The FAO therefore demands that women and girls have access to own money, to own country and to education receive. Because, the FAO further argues, if women could access the same resources as men, harvests could increase by up to a third. This could reduce the number of hungry people by up to 150 million.

The women’s cooperatives are a direct opportunity for women to have their own money. In this way they can improve their situation and secure their children’s future.

Here you will find products from women’s cooperatives

Coffee is available from women’s cooperatives. (Photo: CC0 / pixabay / tristantan)

There are many goods or foods to buy that are made by women’s cooperatives. If you choose such a product, you are providing development aid and supporting a non-profit project.


As coffee drinkers are you lying with the coffee from Angelique’s Finest right. It comes from a women’s cooperative from Rwanda in Africa.

The members cultivate the coffee plantations and also roast the beans themselves. This enables women to achieve higher profits – because only the roasting makes the beans expensive. As a rule, the importers roast in Germany; plantation workers often have little wages.

Tip: There is also better coffee in the supermarket. Give it a try Organic coffee & Fair Trade Coffee


Do you still need healthy spices? You can get exotic organic spices directly from the producers at the online retailer.

The products were not only brokered through middlemen – so the field workers can earn more from it. For example, the spice campaign buys cinnamon and cardamom directly from women’s cooperatives in Sri Lanka.

Additional Information: Buy organic spices: the main brands and online shops

Women’s cooperatives and fair trade

A fair trade seal on the packaging does not mean that a product comes from a women’s cooperative. However, many women’s cooperative products are compatible with that Fairtrade label excellent.

is also committed to women’s rights in certified companies: in addition to the fair purchase price, the fair trade system also provides a bonus for workers. Women are to receive training and further training from this bonus money.

You can find products with this Fairtrade seal not only in organic shops, organic supermarkets and world shops, but now also in almost all well-stocked supermarkets and even in discounters. A good help is that 

Already knew? You should definitely buy some products fairly!

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