Mt. Kenya West Women In Coffee (WESTWIC), a women-led membership organization of 50 coffee estates and cooperatives, commits to reaching 15,000 workers, 70% of whom are women, with family planning, reproductive health, nutrition, and other health information and services by 2024.
Mt. Kenya West Women In Coffee (WESTWIC), a women-led membership company of 50 coffee estates and cooperatives, commits to reaching 15,000 workers, 70% of whom are women, with health information and services by 2024. Through its Women in Coffee Empowerment Program, WESTWIC will ensure that these workers receive services on family planning, reproductive health, nutrition, and other vital needs as well as gender equality empowerment training and skills development. The program will be offered to both full-time and seasonal workers in WESTWIC’s 50 coffee estates and cooperatives in Kenya.
The overall WESTWIC mission is to promote women coffee owners’ welfare and empowerment through lobbying, training, representation, and stakeholder engagement. WESTWIC will invest 1.25 million Kenya shillings (more than USD $10,000) of its funding from member dues to offer these services and trainings and will develop partnerships with the national and county governments, leveraging other health programs at the community level. It will also implement activities through private sector and NGO partners. WESTWIC will provide workers with information on contraceptives and family planning by bringing providers on site as needed and making appropriate referrals to private providers and county health facilities. The Women in Coffee Empowerment Program will also address menstrual health, reproductive cancers, sexually transmitted infections, nutrition, and water and sanitation as part of a holistic approach to women’s health. The program will have members institute new policies and trainings on sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
“Women's full participation in public, economic, and political life is a necessary condition for gender equity and justice. Health is a key part of this, and we're glad to support programs that address reproductive health and family planning needs for thousands of women in the coffee industry in Kenya." - Margaret Mithamo, President of WESTWIC