Stone, Aleida


Organization: Sustainable Harvest Rwanda
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Year: 2016

MRP/Thesis abstract:

“Developing Ourselves”: An Examination of Women Coffee Producer Empowerment and its Facilitation in Rwanda

This study centres on exploring whether and how the relations between women coffee producers and specialty coffee washing station owners in Rwanda facilitate the empowerment of these women. Over the course of three months, primary data was gathered in Rwanda through participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a focus group. What is found from the analysis of this qualitative data is that training, assets, and access are each ‘sites of agency’ through which empowerment can be facilitated. These sites of agency, though, are not necessarily sufficient for doing so, in and of themselves. Rather, washing station owners must consider organizing these sites of agency in contextually-specific ways that reflect the unique experiences, needs and wants of women coffee producers.