The majority of workers in the lowest paid roles in tea production are women. Yet these are among the most crucial roles – especially plucking tea. But they often feel they are not being represented as well as they could be be. It doesn’t have to be that way. THIRST invited trade union representatives from Malawi’s tea plantations and Latin American banana plantations to share their lessons on how they have started to make unions more accessible to women. Watch the video below, read a summary of the discussion on this blog or contact THIRST to request full notes.
This was one of the topics voted on by participants of THIRST’s international round table Building Tea Back Better in June. Supporting the empowerent of women workers – ensuring that their voices are heard and respected – will be one of the most powerful ways we can help to build tea back better from the devastation of COVID-19.
Our panelists were:
- Adela Torres, General Secretary of the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries (SINTRAINAGRO), Colombia & representative on the Women Workers’ Platform of Demands for the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions (COLSIBA)
- Iris Munguia, Women’s Secretary FESTAGRO (Federation of Trade Unions of Agribusiness Workers), Honduras & representative on the Women Workers’ Platform of Demands for the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions (COLSIBA)
- Juliet Suliwa, Oxfam Project Coordinator for the Malawi Tea 2020 Revitalisation Programme – working closely with PAWU on gender issues.
Sadly our fourth panelist, Denis Banda, General Secretary of the Plantaion and Agricultural Workers Union (PAWU), Malawi was unable to join the discussion due to connectivity problems.
A summary of the discussion will be available soon, but in the meantime, a recording of the event is available here: