Women’s struggle in food value chains
This article in the GREAT Insights magazine of May/June 2017 by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) discusses women’s struggle in food value chains, in particular the dairy value chain. Women in sub-Saharan Africa play a key role in informal and formal stages of food value chains, including as producers, processors, traders and consumers. At the same time, fostering food value chains has become both a priority and a challenge for many stakeholders in Africa. This is important in the broader context of economic transformation and the need to create more and better jobs, with a particular focus on women and youth. To be efficient, any intervention affecting food value chains should look at the link between more productive and efficient value chains, and gender equality. An example of the Kenyan dairy value chains shows well how to better link the aforementioned dimensions. To achieve the modernization and sustainable development of value chains while ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment, three points should be taken into account: 1) Involving both women and men appropriately in consultation, design and monitoring processes is crucial; 2) An integrated gender approach is needed; 3) Gender-disaggregated data coupled with an understanding of the cultural, socio-economic and political context allows designing context-specific and innovative responses, such as the redesign of credit instruments or financial services.