On my visits to coffee farms, I have seen at first hand the dedication and skill of women working in coffee. However, this has often been confined to the areas of labouring and field work. I remember watching some of the process and asking if I could take pictures. The production of a camera would inevitably bring the men, managers and owners to be part of the scene, much to the amusement of the women to whom this was a most unusual occurrence.
Tradition has seen coffee management, and the ownership of land, dominated by men. The International Coffee Organisation has reported how women contribute significantly to the global coffee sector. However, they have lower access to resources such as land, credit, and information. Other reports have said that worldwide, only 20% of farms are female operated. They suggest that actively reducing the gender gap could have long term benefits of the whole of the global coffee industry. It seems that there is a long way to go before old prejudices are removed. But, there are chinks of light, some women are achieving a break through.