KIT Royal Tropical Institute facilitated and led the writing process for the fourth book in the value chain series: Challenging Chains to Change – gender equity in agricultural value chain development. The book is used in development and coaching trajectories for gender equity in value chain development in Africa.
Efforts to improve value chains often exclude women, with men usually reaping the most benefit. Women — who do much of the work but are often not recognised for it — frequently work harder than their male counterparts in order to meet ever-increasing quality requirements. The book documents 25 real-life cases and key strategies for improving the position of women in value chains that include:
- Women’s products i.e. shea, poultry, dairy
- Women working in traditionally male domains
- Access to finance
- Gender-responsible business
- Use of standards and certification to promote gender equality
The book explains how development organisations and private entrepreneurs have found ways to improve the position of women in value chains, especially small-scale women farmers and primary processors. The central arguments draw on social justice, poverty alleviation and business interests. The book offers a framework for development organisations to bring a gender-focused lens to their value chain development initiatives. For change to take place in the value chains, it is necessary to take up the gender challenge.