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Gender dynamics in agrifood value chains: Advances in research and practice over the last decade

Rhiannon Pyburn, Vanya Slavchevska, Froukje Kruijssen
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This paper reviews knowledge generated over the past 10 years on gendered patterns to engagement, returns on engagement, and power relations in agrifood value chains. It examines how research has advanced, evidence of improvements in gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the circumstances under which any advances have happened.

Gender inequalities in value chains remain significant though they vary by value chain type and node. Over the past decade, research questions have shifted from ‘why’ to ‘how’ women participate in agrifood chains and intersectional dimensions of gender inequality and power imbalances are increasingly a part of analysis, though the collection of intersectional data – quantitative, in particular – is still limited. Research and practice have shifted to include a focus on restrictive gender norms and gender transformative approaches that engage with both men and women. Robust, national and multi-country data on gender relations beyond the primary agricultural sector is scarce, which hinders the tracking of changes in gender relations and inclusivity in value chains over time and across contexts as well as on intersecting forms of inequalities and their impacts on value chain performance. Beyond production node, national surveys continue to provide limited insights about gendered patterns of participation and benefits in different value chains and different nodes such as processing, trade, and transport.