A stakeholder workshop was held in Colombia on July 8 to discuss the results of a study on gender pay gaps in the banana sector, funded by FAO, Fairtrade International and Fairtrade Germany. The event was well-attended by banana producers and exporters, industry bodies and trade unions, with around 90 participants in the room and online. This was followed up with a webinar to a wider group of stakeholders from the World Banana Forum and GLWC on September 26.
The study assessed gender pay gaps at two banana companies in different regions of Colombia, one unionized, the other non-unionized. Depending on the company, the types of pay considered, and the type and occupations of workers, the gender pay gap ranges between 8% and 20%. Importantly, higher wages do not necessarily translate into smaller gender pay gaps. The gaps are mostly due to segregation of women into packing activities, as this prevents them from reaching the wage levels earned by men who work in the whole spectrum of activities on banana farms. Underlying this are a range of factors related not only to the context of each company but also to broader societal issues.
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