Gender in Value Chains

moderated by Caroline van der Molen

Since 2008, a vibrant innovation community has been active within AgriProFocus. Its mission is to improve gender equity in agricultural value chain development.

This knowledge platform aims to be a resource and a virtual place for exchange of experiences and knowledge development on the subject of Gender in Value Chains. It is open to professionals worldwide interested to increase the gender sensitivity of working on economic development within the perspective of sustainable rural development, particularly in a value chain approach. Today our community comprises of over 1000 professionals worldwide from donor agencies and knowledge institutes to NGOs and companies.

By regular exchange and working together, our community has developed exciting knowledge products for value chain practitioners, like the Toolkit on Gender in Value Chains, the Toolkit on Coffee as a Family Business and the book Challenging Chains to Change. Do you want to learn about gender sensitive value chain development online? You can also check out the e-modules of our online training.

Read more about us in our factsheet, check out the infographic about Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Framework (here in french) or watch video's about Gender in Value Chains in our video library.

We invite professionals, experts and practitioners to become part of our community and share information and experiences with others, in the form of a 'post', 'event' or 'product service'. Make sure you log in first!

Post your news, questions, experiences and other messages regarding below!


Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 15 October 2009 at 02:50

Herewith I forward you all the link to a marvelous online toolbook in Spanish: http://www.ruta.org/toolbox/toolboxGenero.html It was just launched a few days ago by RUTA and GTZ, as members of a Central American learning platform on gender and value chains. I hope it will be useful, at least for the Spanish speaking members. Sigrid Meijer, Inclusive Growht Expert ProPemce, Managua, Nicaragua

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 28 September 2009 at 06:13

Please find attached a better version for the ILO Gender sensitive value chain guide. The last one was not a good pdf version. Im afraid our fire wall blocks delicous so I have to load it here and hope that some one can upload it for me! Thanks Grania

Roel Snelder Hi Grania, I will use this one for upload in delicious. Thanks, Roel

9 years 3 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 14 September 2009 at 08:39

Roel Snelder Hi Tessa, Thanks for this. I have feautured your post. The news section is indeed meant for this. So it is in the right place! The idea for the news section is to highlight news (experiences, reports etc.) It would therefore be also nice if you could edit you message to include just a short note on why you are posting it and what makes this report interesting for the reader. Roel

9 years 4 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 28 August 2009 at 04:17

Many consumers think gender is sufficiently covered by fairtrade certification. In actual fact this is not true. FLO needs to balance it with child labour, smallholder empowerment and ecology.

Is it time for a special label indicating impact on women empowerment?

CAFE FEMININO seems to be doing OK, so why not copy this into other commodities?

Would be grateful for your insights

THANKS
Gijs
www.zameen.org

Irene Guijt Hey, great to have this lively discussion. A few thoughts. First a clarification. I know nothing whatsoever about Cafe Feminino so was not implying their work on ecology or child labour was problematic. But for an outsider (like me), knowing that 'gender equality' is taken care of doesn't give me any guarantee that the other equally important issues are also taken care of. That was the issue I was trying to convey. And Gijs, nope, haven't tried to change FLO in any systematic way though I've developed ideas with 2 staff on how to involve producers in deciding price levels and gather that implementing this was rather slow going. I'm sure we can hear many, many messages and perhaps it is time for another message. But I wonder if another issue is whether we risk losing space gained on the ecology, child labour, etc fronts by zooming in on yet another social injustice that needs sorting. Don't forget fairtrade is still very much a niche market. To what extent is creating a niche within a niche giving us a sense of systemic change without really tackling the bigger fronts at which these battles need to be fought, i.e. in mainstreaming among the bigger players? I'm absolutely not against anything like Cafe Feminino or the equivalents elsewhere in the world and we do need to create space for change in tiny pockets and corners of the world. We need both. Mainstreaming gender-conscious thinking and gender equality-focused measures and opportunities in value chains is essential and also so very difficult. Not just because organisations like FLO are change resistance. But also, in part, because in my perception and that of several others who are desperately seeking innovative gender-focused support in development-related work, the gender/development debate appears quite stagnant and not very good at applying its lens to non-household level applications. Risky statement perhaps but one I feel increasingly strongly about. What is the room for change there?

9 years 4 months ago

Gijs Spoor Hi Irene and group, Just to respond to some issues (and actually this is my first time on a newsgroup so was wondering if AgriProFocus can perhaps edit the major points and make this into something like a policy note / paper (IIED style, onepager) ??? 1. On risking losing space gained on the ecology, child labour, etc fronts by zooming in on yet another social injustice that needs sorting. I think gender - and my definition of tha is very narrow, to me it means women empowerment, I know for others it includes kids & child labour- is actually more universally appealing than poverty. So I believe it will have a larger market than fairtrade. In textiles probably 60% of the consumers know what it is like to be a woman, whereas extremely few of them know what it is like to be poor. We support only what we understand, that is why FT will remain a niche until education picks up. 2. mainstreaming among the bigger players? NIKE launched their organic cotton in a line for women. They realised women are more conscious shoppers and it would totally boost their womenswear sales if they added a touch of women solidarity / "girrl power" to the collection. 3. Mainstreaming gender-conscious thinking and gender equality-focused measures and opportunities in value chains is very difficult because the gender/development debate appears quite stagnant and not very good at applying its lens to non-household level applications. WOW. I only think about business and have no idea about the gender "industry". I think if we get people used to seeing and buying products with a message we create systemic change in a much more radical way than academics or development theorists. This is the age of consumer power: if you are not in the market you do not exist... So perhaps the gender industry has no choice but to launch a label just to stay alive? Don't we know that public funding is decreasing? Who will pay for the next gender newsgroup or professor? Anyway, even in a good scenario with progressive public policy the innovation is not going to come from the ivory towers, Irene. Let's start selling!

9 years 4 months ago

Irene Guijt Calm down Gijs. :) I didn't refer to a 'gender industry' - that is your twist. I referred to a discourse. And I'm not sure that launching a label to stay alive (I said stagnant, not dying or dead) is everyone's idea of a good business strategy. Plenty of ideas are alive and kicking without a label! And I didn't say that the gender debate is entrenched in ivory towers. PLENTY of this is in down-to-earth organisations. So please would it be possible to not jump to so many conclusions about the gender 'industry' you yourself say you have no idea about? I think it doesn't actually help the debate. My intention was to say that innovations must ALSO (not exclusively) come from the guardians (who play an important role) of the understanding about gender. Engagement with very different applications such as in value chains would be really helpful. I think that development theorists also played a role in the evolution of value chains so don't write them off and don't overrate consumer power just yet. See where it is getting us today - a very marginal slice of the market (Walmart still reigns as emperor). All efforts are great - don't get me wrong, but I don't believe in an either/or, single answer solution.

9 years 4 months ago

Roel Snelder Hi all, Well Gijs for a novice at newsgroups you have found a topic which generated attention. Good to have you (and the other contributors) on board! Irene's last point about needing and valueing different roles, I feel, is very valid. It also underlines the experience we are having within this community. We learn that by combining competencies (gender 'guardians' and value chain specialists et all) we are steadily moving ahead. In that respect I like to refer you (and the other contributors) to the earlier work - working paper on gender in value chains - we did last year in this group which illustrates the need for engagement. As for your question for summarizing. I suggest we - hereby - invite someone from this community to take that task upon him / her. While extending that invitation (I will also phone around to scope) maybe we can still benefit from a few other perspectives and experiences whithin this community. From the discussion so far I take (and please comment / adapt these if you see this differently) three perspectives which can be further explored to add value to this discussion. I pose them as questions for reflection: - What are we learning from integrating gender into 'codes'? - How can we stimulate engagement between gender and value chain competencies? within our organisations and those we work with? - How can we effectively mainstream gender into value chains? Roel Roel

9 years 4 months ago

Grania Mackie Hi Gijs, We had been thinking the same in the WEDGE project but not a product certification more an service provider to SMEs organisational certification. We have a tool called FAMOS that is a gender audit for SME service providers which could be used as an assesment tool for certification? best wishes Grania

9 years 3 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 7 August 2009 at 08:14

Dear colleagues, Have you seen this: http://apps.develebridge.net/amap/index.php/Value_Chain_Development It's a wiki from USAID on value chain. all the best, Thies

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 28 July 2009 at 10:02

I have come across this publication from the Danish Institute of International Studies: Integrating Poverty, Gender and Environmental Concerns into Value Chain Analysis. The document can be downloaded from: www.diis.dk. Working Paper 2008/16. The researchers use Elson's gendered economy as the central concept which leads them to focus more on the labour issues of value chain participation. However they recognise that their analysis is limited. It's an interesting starting point and worth reading.

Roel Snelder Hi Joy, Thanks for featuring this publication. It is already part of our literature collection. Just check our declicious gender documents for other resources / or if you want to add something. For everyone: just click here to access the article Joy has featured. Roel

9 years 4 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 3 July 2009 at 09:52

Dear colleagues,

Dear colleages,

I went to this interesting workshop organised by MVO Platform (that receives co-funding from Oxfam Novib). I wanted to share some viewpoints on gender in trade, mainly from a macroeconomic perspective brought in by Irene van Staveren.
Irene is Associate Professor of Feminist Development Economics at the ISS and Professor of Economics and Christian Ethics at Nijmegen University. Author of “The feminist economics of Trade”.

RELEVANCE FOR US:
To be aware of the reasoning from macro-economic perspective on gender inequality in trade and the business case for women’s empowerment
• Linkis is co-funding MVO platform and is keen to hear what is done to address gender issues.
• ISS organises 3-week certificate courses on “gender and economic policy analysis”. We could ask Irene to do an in-house crash course for a group if we manage to mobilise ourselves.

-This is a (probably too) simplistic summary and the official documents from the course are

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Gudule Boland Dear Thies, thanks for the extensive report on this meeting! A thought: in many cases code of conducts and the ILO conventions that are referred to are necessary only because national governments do not uphold their own laws. In many cases codes of conduct actually replace national governments. Is that a desirable situation? Needed are (women's) CSO's that can play a role as watchdogs of their own government. I am quite shocked by the remark made by Joris Oldenziel from SOMO. Can anyone in earnest not see the need for special attention for women? How does that reflect on the work SOMO does? Is SOMO blocking out part of reality? Best wishes, Gudule

9 years 6 months ago

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 8 June 2009 at 09:45

When we started this network on gender in value chains, one of the needs formulated was access to tools and instruments to support gender sensitive value chain development. So in the past months we worked hard to develop the ‘tools wiki’ to satisfy this need. Please click on the tab 'tools' to refresh your memory on this wiki or click on this link: http://genderinvaluechains.pbworks.com/ Are you also looking forward to finding more tools and instruments on our tools wiki? We are! So on Thursday 11th of June we organize a morning session with a small group to discuss how to further develop this wiki. And you can join us to give input and share your opinion The following topics are on the agenda: • Wiki: status, objectives and criteria: What is your opinion? What are criteria for content? What can be improved? • How to collect and harvest tools and materials? What topics, who may contribute, how do we approach them? • The role of the ‘editorial group’. We are still looking

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Inge Jansen I'll be there ;-) New insights and fresh opinions are always welcome, so please respond if you are able to join us this Thursday.

9 years 7 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 29 May 2009 at 02:23

best practices for progreso network.doc Dear all, I've just posted a question on the Progreso Network Ning (see text below or the attachment), asking for experiences of women in producer organisations. Please have a look there, perhaps linking would be interesting. Best, Gudule Dear all, How to improve the position and role of women in economic value chains is a question I and many others are working on/with. Within the gender in value chains trajectory of AgriProFocus, a group of academics and practicioners are sharing experiences. Perhaps this Network can also be helpful in finding examples of how producers organisations work on gender equality and women's rights. We would be really greatful for contributions from the field. Below, I do post two examples I found, but do not know from first hand experience. Videos of both cooperatives are included. The attached file contains the same text (and the table looks a whole lot better there...). Hope to hear from you, and please visit

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Roel Snelder Hi Gudule, good to take the initiative to link up to the progreso network. let's see if they can join us in this platform. Possibly our paper might be interesting for them. What do you think? also. The IICD video does not work. cheer, Roel p.s. what about the soy experience?

9 years 7 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 27 May 2009 at 01:06

I am trying to break down 'feminization of poverty' with specific reference to women workers in the agricultural sector. I know that there is very sparse gender-disaggregated data, but any help with the following would be much appreciated: 1. Would anyone have information or references to data sources on women's participation rates in the agricultural sector? And by 'agricultural sector', I would tend to include only only women who work on their own/family owned farms but also women who work in agri-based industries in most value-chains. 2. Regional variations on the above 3. Social status of the women who work in this sector (w.r.t education levels, asset ownership, access to medical care, child care, etc) 4. Literature suggests that a large number of women in export-oriented agri-industries are migrant workers. Is there any info on the migratory patterns? 5. Any other information that throws light on where women work, the kind of work they do, their living conditions, etc. Many thanks

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Sigrid Meijer Hello Aparna, just wanted to share with you this very recent report in Spanish by FAO and CEPAL on Work of rural women in Latin America with a lot of statistics. Hope there is some information in it that can be of use. Kind regards, Sigrid Meijer

9 years 7 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 6 May 2009 at 05:19

Who has data sets or information on the black box, meaning the family income and division, or the livelihoods of families who joined valuechains in palm oil. My thesis is about the impact on livelihoods of smallholders of joining valuechains in palm oil (in Guatemala) Thanks, Annemarie

Hedwig Bruggeman Dear Annemarie, I remember providing OxfamNovib some suggestions regarding a study on smallholders and sustainable palm oil production last year. I'm sure that the report contains valuable data. I suggest that you contact Gine Zwart at OxfamNovib. Another contact is "Productschap van margarine vetten en olien. Ask for Marieke Leegwater You should also ask both about the round table on sustaible palm oil production. good luck Hedwig

9 years 8 months ago

Annemarie de Ruiter Thanks! I will keep you updated!

9 years 8 months ago

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 20 April 2009 at 01:14

Based on the outcomes of the Agri-ProFocus learning trajectory on Gender in Value Chains over 2008 we have started applying some of our lessons learned in practice. The picture captures our approach Since March 2009 a growing community of Agri-ProFocus members including ICCO, KIT, HIVOS, Oxfam Novib, Cordaid, SNV, Solidaridad, CIDIN, Both Ends, WUR and the University of Twente have joined our action-learning initiative. Each organisation has selected one or more cases to experiment with together with their Southern partners. Each case is working with an action-learning plan based on a predeveloped Guideline. You can find an overview of active cases here. We are now inviting other organisations to participate in this process. Requirements are that you have a specific case and learning question(s),. If you are interested please reply to this item, or mail Roel Snelder. Want to know more? - Read the Guideline we use for developing the action learning plans per case / chain. - Take note of the emerging framework we

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Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 20 March 2009 at 02:42

On March 10th about 30 professionals from the Agri-ProFocus network got together to exchange experiences and current thinking on gender in value chains. Discussions were very active and lively. This is to share with you the materials used and produced for and at the event. Feel free to use them in your own work on gender in value chains.
- Gender in Value Chains Working Paper.doc - Programme Getting to Grips with Gender in Value Chains.ppt - Gender in Value Chains Lessons Learned.ppt - Participants March 10th.xls - Gender Action Learning Uganda - Oxfam Novib.ppt - Tools Gender in Value Chains Wiki - ICCO.ppt

Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 20 March 2009 at 09:48

Three new case studies on the impacts of monoculture tree plantations on women in Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Brazil will be released on 8 March, International Women’s Day. The case studies (1) and a related short video (2) are available online at www.wrm.org or at www.foei.org. Just click below for: - the full report - the video - a summary The cases are jointly published by the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) and Friends of the Earth International. International Women’s Day is an important day for celebrating the crucial role played by women in our societies and reminding ourselves that we still have a long way to go to achieve gender justice, equality and equity in our societies. The three new case studies carried out on three continents demonstrate that women who live near monoculture tree plantations are very negatively affected by them. NIGERIA The case study from Nigeria is focused on the Iguóbazuwa Forest Reserve, a highly biologically diverse region in the southwest whose

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Posted By in gender-in-value-chains
Posted 4 March 2009 at 12:04

As members of Agri-ProFocus, working on value chains and rural livelihoods, we became confronted with the non-gender sensitiveness of most of our tools and interventions. We decided to take up this issue, and started a learning trajectory on gender in value chains. During this process it became clear that we have to combine different knowledge fields: ‘gender and women empowerment’ with ‘value chain/pro-poor development’. We have documented the main initiatives that have been taken so far within the gender in value chains trajectory in this working paper. In doing so, we intend to share the insights generated and lessons learned so far. The paper starts with a brief explanation of what has been undertaken so far (section A). One of the core initiatives has been the collection of seven relevant cases. These cases, all describing interventions in a value chain, have been analysed on gender and empowerment questions. The insights that were generated out of these cases are discussed

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