Ethical Performance
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Employment provides “much more than just wage packet” in rural communities

May 2013

Independence was the greatest benefit from employment stated by working women surveyed in Africa and Asia. Altogether 36% said independence accompanied by choices was the most valued aspect, while status and confidence were the most appreciated by 33%. Another 19% said acquiring useful information to take back to their families was the best part. 
Olam International, an agricultural supply chain and food ingredients company, conducted the survey in February among 6,000 women at its cashew processing plants in rural communities in Côte d’Ivoire, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam. 
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation emphasised the value of female employment in a recent report, noting that “new jobs in high-value, export-oriented agro-industries offer much better opportunities for women than traditional agricultural work”. 
Briony Mathieson, Olam’s head of corporate and sustainability communications, said: “As a global employer, Olam is well placed to help understand how opportunities in agricultural processing, rather than in subsistence farming, are supporting women in remote rural communities.
“These findings, although only an anecdotal snapshot, strongly suggest that these jobs provide much more than just a wage packet. 
“It is clear that employment helps to build confidence and status among women, giving them choices and improving prospects for their children … Our research suggests more focus on rural employment would be a move in the right direction.” 

Olam International | Global | Social Impact

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