Marbeli Cordova Guerrero, SITAG-Peru Women’s Secretary

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My name is Marbeli Cordova Guerrero, I work for the ‘Association of Organic Banana Workers of Immaculate Conception’ which is certified by FLO-CERT. My job is to put the stickers on the fruit.  Within this association of small-scale plantations the pay is very low and we do not get an equal pay. Our greatest grievance with the association is caused by this frustrating salary situation. 

I am a member of SITAG Peru and the Women’s Secretary, but I have not been able to fulfill all of my duties as representative of the women members of our union because SITAG has not had the economic resources to support this role. Outside of my work on the banana plantation I therefore tend to the household and try to find other sources of income. 
Fortunately, for the time being, SITAG has received some financial support from the trade union UNISON so we can now start to use these funds to move forward.  One of the things this funding will be used for is to support my work as the Women’s Secretary. This will help us to organize more women and young workers across the region. We will also have more capacity to defend the rights of these women workers because we can invest in more legal defense to support our members demands. 
We will also offer capacity building training for women and young banana workers on issues such as labour rights, negotiation and leadership. These are tasks that we have tried to do even when we lack the financial means as even without funds we have been constantly battling to achieve gender equality. That is our obligation as a union. 
Photo: Barbora Mrazkova, Nazemi, Czech Republic