Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Empowered women

The day started with a visit to CADECH’s wet and dry processing plants. In terms of environmental good practices, CADECH’s first priority was to address water management. A lot of water is necessary in the wet processing plant. Now they are recycling water for processing the coffee beans. I saw the machinery for washing the coffee and recycling water bought with Oikocredit’s financing.

At CADECH wet plant (Photo: A. Vargas)

CADECH next step will be an optimal use of waste after processing coffee. At the moment, they give it –for free – to its members to be used as fertilizers.
Before leaving Chanmagua I met two women members of the coop. Not only are Mrs Zoila and her daughter Marlene CADECH members, but also have been involved as members of the administrative board. Zoila was a member years ago and Marlene has just been elected.

Marlene and Ms Zoila (Photo: A. Vargas)

“It is because most decisions are taken at that level”, Marlene told me, “And women have another approach or point of view than men. I am very much aware of any opportunities for women and make sure that women also get the chance to profit from them”. It is not an easy task because agricultural coops are usually male-dominated. Mrs Zoila and Marlene are genuinely empowered women that pave the way for other women to dare to become actively involved in an important decision-making body of CADECH.

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