Publications and Resources

Suggested literature on gender in value chains

moderated by Caroline van der Molen

AgriProFocus Publications

For AgriProFocus publications on Gender in Value Chains, check our pages about the Toolkit on Gender in Value Chains, the Toolkit on Coffee as a Family Business and the book Challenging Chains to Chains. �

AgriProFocus and Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services also created an infographic of the Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Framework. For the full document in English, click here (there is also a French version available). Click here for the Spanish version, the Indonesian version and the Asian-English version

This partnership also produced infographics on: 

Company as Employer: women's rights and business opportunities (also in FRENCH)

Company as key value chain player: women's rights and business opportunities (also in FRENCH)

12 articles we highly recommend reading

1. Creating Gender-Responsive Agricultural Development Programs.�An orientation document. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. February 2012. �

2. Improving Opportunities for Women in Smallholder-based Supply Chains. Business Case and Practical Guidance for International Food Companies. By Man-Kwun Chan. Advisory input from Stephanie Barrientos. See also the appendix: Case Studies and Executive Summary.

3. Gender in Value Chains. Evaluation Study 2010-2012. By Lone Riisgaard, Anna Maria Escobar Fibla and Stefano Ponte. The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).

4. See how they grow: Business Development Services for Women's Business Growth. By Simel Esim. Economist International Center for Research on Women.

5. Donor Committee on Economic Development (DCED). Private Sector Development Synthesis. Note: Inclusive Business Models, February 2014.

6. Discussion Paper for an M4P WEE Framework: How can the Making Markets Work for the Poor Framework work for poor women and for poor men? By Linda Jones, 2012. The Springfield Centre for Business in Development.

7. Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Related Issues in Land Policy and Administration Projects, Gender in Agriculture, Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank.

8. Rootcapital Issue Brief: Applying a Gender Lens to Agriculture, Farmers, Leaders, and Hidden Influencers.

9. Measuring Women's Economic Empowerment in Private Sector Development. Guidelines for practitioners. by Erin Markel, DCED. July 2014.

10. Leveling the field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa. World Bank, 2014.

11. Promoting women's financial inclusion. A toolkit. Published by DFID and GIZ, 2012.

12. IFPRI Discussion Paper: Closing the Gender Asset Gap. Learning from Value Chain Development in Africa and Asia. February 2014.

Posted By in Publications and Resources
Posted 6 February 2018 at 04:13

Read how attitudes and social norms practiced in every-day life affect women’s economic empowerment in Vietnam in the summary of findings of a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Study conducted under SNV's 'Enhancing Opportunities for Women's Enterprises' (EOWE) programme:

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 20 August 2015 at 01:24

Interesting Gender in Value Chains Tool by FAO

Empowering women in Afghanistan: reducing gender gaps through Integrated Dairy Schemes

Boros, R.; McLeod, A, 2015

Milk and dairy products are crucial for the daily food security and income generation of Afghan families, and women play an important role in the related activities. Since 2005, FAO is implementing the Integrated Dairy Schemes (IDS) Project, with financial support of the Afghan, German and Italian Governments and IFAD. The aim of the project is to improve food security in Afghanistan by supporting the national dairy sector. The Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industry and Social Protection Divisions of FAO, in collaboration with the FAO Representation in Afghanistan, undertook a detailed assessment to investigate the in depth impact on rural Afghan women and their families of the project. The assessment identified lessons learned and actionable recommendations to inform the design and implementation of gender-sens

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Kaba Sory Ibrahim Salut, j'aimerais savoir comment on aide une association nouvelle pour l'agriculture et l'élevage

3 years 5 months ago

Kadidiatou Mme Sanogo Il serait bon de préciser de quelle spéculation il s'agit et la zone d'intervention. Merci

3 years 5 months ago

Angelica Senders En français Merci Kaba je pense que la stratégie proposée ici prévoit l'inclusion des femmes dans des coopératives laitière qui sont à ce moment dominés par les hommes, Je donne ici (une partie) des recommandations qui sont tout à fait clair sur ce point: Le rapport recommande que FAO Afghanistan et IDS prennent des mesures pour consolider les acquis à ce jour et de développer davantage la participation des femmes. Celles-ci pourraient inclure: • élaboration d'une stratégie genre pour encourager les unions à consolider les acquis dans l'autonomisation des femmes obtenus jusqu'ici; • nommer un expert supérieur en genre au sein de l'équipe de la FAO à travailler sur le projet IDS; • développer la formation pour les femmes et de prévoir une formation à l'entrepreneuriat; • l'amélioration de la diversification des entreprises laitières et des coopératives dans d'autres activités où les femmes ont un rôle actif et peuvent bénéficier de leurs familles; • explorer des mesures concrètes et pratiques pour accroître l'emploi des femmes dans les centres de collecte de lait, les usines de transformation de lait et les ventes de lait pour les consommateurs; et • aider les femmes IDS participants de construire des réseaux de soutien et d'échange d'informations et des liens avec les initiatives des autres femmes. Il sera important de suivre les progrès et, à cette fin, une étude de base de l'égalité devra être entrepris rapidement pour documenter les données existantes, afin d'avoir une base solide à partir de laquelle un rapport de transformation de genre au sein de l'IDS. Toutes ces mesures devront être prises avec soin et sensibilité afin de conserver les bonnes relations communautaires qui ont été établis jusqu'ici.

3 years 4 months ago

Angelica Senders In English Thanks Kaba I think the strategy proposed envisages the inclusion of women in dairy cooperative at the moment dominated by men, but. I herewith give (part of) the recommendations which are quite clear on this point: The report recommends that FAO Afghanistan and IDS take steps to consolidate gains to date and further develop the participation of women. These could include: • developing a gender strategy to encourage unions to consolidate the gains in women’s empowerment obtained so far; • appointing a senior woman gender officer within the FAO team to work on the IDS project; • expanding training for women to include training in entrepreneurship; • enhancing diversification of dairy enterprises and cooperatives into other activities where women have an active role and can benefit their families; • exploring concrete and practical steps to increase women’s employment in milk collection centres, milk processing plants and milk sales to consumers; and • helping women IDS participants to build networks for support and information exchange and link to other women’s initiatives. It will be important to monitor progress and, to this end, a baseline gender study will need to be undertaken rapidly to document existing data, in order to have a solid base from which to report gender transformation within IDS. All these steps will need to be taken with care and sensitivity in order to retain the good community relations that have been established so far. IDS are considered the country’s largest and most successful cooperatives. Currently organized in separate unions at provincial level, they have the potential to unite under a national federation. From a gender angle, this might give an impulse to women’s empowerment, especially as female farmers in IDS start to become involved as registered union members and participate in decision-making

3 years 4 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 23 July 2015 at 03:00

New FAO publication: Running Out of Time: The Reduction of women's work burden in agricultural production

The extreme workload of women is one of the gender based constraints hindering agricultural development in many countries. Reducing the burden of women however is easier said than done. This FAO study can be useful for practitioners motivated to design work reduction strategies for women in their agricultural programs.

Based on a broad literature review, this publication discusses rural women’s time poverty in agriculture, elaborates on its possible causes and implications and provides insight into the various types of constraints that affect the adoption of solutions for reducing work burden. This paper raises questions about the adequacy of women’s access to technologies, services and infrastructure and about the control women have over their time, given their major contributions to agriculture. It also looks into the available labour-saving technologies, practices and servic

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Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 21 April 2015 at 09:58

Publication: USAID paper via  

Making the Business Case: 

Women's Economic Empowerment in Market Systems Development

Evidence shows that giving poor women the means to improve their incomes and the power to make decisions has a catalyzing impact within their households, their communities, and beyond. The USAID-funded Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) activity seeks to build upon these efforts by demonstrating how business practices that are inclusive of women are good for business and social change.

This paper is based on extensive research and interviews and provides the rationale that market systems facilitation practitioners can use to engage private sector firms in efforts to empower women. From identifying partners to articulating the mutually beneficial value of women's inclusion, the paper offers guidance and real-world examples to help companies empower women working at every level of the economy.

Download the paper here:

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 27 March 2015 at 09:19

The business case for Women’s Participation in Agricultural Cooperatives; the example of the Manduvira sugar cane cooperative in in Paraguay

Read about the business arguments for women’s participation in cooperative supported by evidence from Manduvira sugar cane cooperative in Paraguay in the paper written by Claire Clugston Leland International Hunger Fellow with ACDI/VOCA, published in November 2014. Read the full paper.

As in many other countries in Paraguay women are underrepresented in agricultural cooperatives, in average 19% of the members and 7% of leaders of the cooperatives are women. The paper shows with data from Maduvira cooperative that women can and do succeed in positions that have historically been seen as more appropriate for men. It also shows that women’s participation and leadership in agricultural cooperatives can have advantages to their overall business performance.

1. Women Succeed in Non-Traditional Cooperative Roles

Manduvira shows how women can s

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Posted By in International
Posted 4 November 2014 at 10:16

New release: Coffee Toolkit, approaches and tools to integrate women and youth, into all stages of the value chain

Coffee toolkit Sustainable coffee as a family business. Available online for download now!

The first toolkit to include women and youth in the coffee sector has been released today- a joint collaboration between the Sustainable Coffee Program, Hivos and Agri-ProFocus to address the inequalities that women and youth in the coffee supply chain experience in relation to access to trainings, land ownership, inputs and income. These issues create a generation demotivated to stay in coffee farming, which poses a great threat to coffee production as a whole. 

Therefore, this toolkit provides practical approaches and tools, which serve to motivate and assist coffee roasters, traders and their practitioners to apply an inclusive approach to de-veloping better functioning coffee chains, benefitting both men and women of different age groups equally. It synthesized the learnings of

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Hedwig Bruggeman Very proud that the initial AgriProFocus gender and value chain toolkit is now through joint network action adapted to serve a specific value chain. Congrats ! And I'm with full confidence looking forward to the impact.

4 years 1 month ago

Hance R. Melchior Congrats of the nice and simple technology that can be used by the majority farmers including women, men and youth in coffee harvesting. It is my hope that this new technology will simplify the work for farmers.

4 years 1 month ago