Promoting Gender Equality in the Global Cotton Sector

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Better Cotton 2019-21 Gender Strategy


Gender inequality remains a pressing challenge in the cotton sector. Globally, women in cotton production take on varied, essential roles, but their labour is often unrecognised and under-remunerated. Where the contributions of women remain unrecognised, their critical role in adopting more sustainable practices, and creating a transformed, equitable cotton future, is missed. 

As an industry leader, Better Cotton has an opportunity to address these challenges and to integrate gender equality as a cornerstone of sustainable cotton. The Gender Strategy, developed and launched internally in November 2019, outlines our action plan to mainstream a gender sensitive approach across our work.

Better Cotton Gender Strategy in Action

To make cotton production better for all the people in cotton farming communities, Better Cotton will work to improve gender equality throughout our operations. We will do this by mainstreaming gender sensitive approaches across farm-level work, amplifying this work through the sustainable cotton community and through building awareness and capacity within the organisation. We completed a baseline gender assessment report in 2019 to assess our progress to date. This report identified areas for improvement and formed the foundation of our strategy. Here are some examples of the strategy in action.

Approach, Objectives and Commitments

The approach of the Gender Strategy is to systematically mainstream gender concerns, needs and interests across Better Cotton’s policies, partnerships and programmes.

To progress this work, we defined objectives and commitments at three levels: Sustainable Cotton Community, Farm and Organisation.

Better Cotton is at the beginning of its journey towards supporting transformative action to progress gender equality. We are actively seeking partnerships to collaboratively accelerate this work.