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Saltwinds Coffee Company
Saltwinds Coffee Company
Made in the Maritimes

Empowered Women in the Coffee Industry – Overcoming Inequality

Did you know, behind every cup of coffee lies a rich history of cultivation, trade, and production? Furthermore, throughout this journey among coffee, women have played a pivotal role. However, unfortunately, the history of women in coffee production has often been overshadowed by inequality and prejudice.

The struggles women faced in this industry are explored, not to mention their resilience in overcoming these challenges are celebrated.

Back to History

To begin, along its historic journey, coffee became a symbol of culture, trade, and economic prosperity. However, the gender dynamics within coffee production remained deeply entrenched in traditional, masculine norms.

That being said, while men held positions of power and authority, women laboured tirelessly in the fields. Their position carrying out physically demanding tasks such as planting, harvesting, and processing the coffee cherries. Yet, their contributions often went unnoticed and undervalued.

Wage Disparities

Despite this, even when women were employed on coffee plantations, they were frequently subjected to wage disparities compared to their male counterparts.

Additionally, it was reported that female coffee producers in two regions in Uganda were 41% lower than that of male peers.

The gender pay gap further adapted to inequality, so much so that women were left struggling to break free from the cycle of poverty. 

Access to Land and Resources

Firstly, one of the glaring inequalities faced by women in coffee production was their limited access to land ownership and resources. To add on, many coffee-growing regions, women were denied the right to own or inherit land. 

By this mean, women were left economically dependent on male family members. This lack of ownership prevented them from making independent decisions, while also hindered their potential for entrepreneurial growth.

Education and Empowerment

Education has been a factor for social change throughout history, however women in coffee-producing communities often faced barriers to education.

More specifically, without access to resources and information, women were unable to participate actively. This would take part during the decision-making process or challenging the status quo.

Finally, the history of women in coffee production is one of perseverance, strength, and overcoming inequality. Furthermore, as the industry continues to evolve, the strides made by women are a testament to their determination and resilience.

Importantly, recognizing and celebrating the valuable contributions of women in coffee is not just about acknowledging the past, but also about creating a more inclusive, equal, and sustainable future for the entire coffee community.


Bruleries Faro Roasting Houses. Brewing Up a Revolution: the Importance of Women in the Coffee Industry. Dimitra Technology. October 2022.

Gender Equality in the Coffee Sector: An Insight Report from the International Coffee Organization.” International Coffee Organization (ICO). October 2018.

Wellington, C. What You Need To Know About Women Coffee Production. https://farocoffee.com/blogs/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-women-coffee-producers

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