The Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) scheme has implemented a number of initiatives to help female cotton farmers in the producing regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

In total, around 85,000 women are said to already benefit from the CmiA programme, but CmiA has joined forces with local partners the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ (German International Cooperation) and the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) to expand this participation.

Activities include adapting training in sustainable cotton production to the needs of female participants and training female cotton farmers to become lead farmers.

Employees of the cotton companies receive training in gender equality and women's representatives are established as a regular contact person in the company. In addition, the female farmers involved receive easier access to loans and their own contracts with the cotton companies to earn their income.

"Since women play a major role in providing their families with food, measures to strengthen the role of women always improve the situation of the entire family," explains Tina Stridde, managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation, the umbrella organisation for CmiA.