Gender in Value Chains

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6.1d Leadership

Why applying this strategy?



What do you gain from using this strategy (objectives)?

Women are represented in the leadership of producer organisations


Gender Based Constraints (GBC) to be addressed


1. Men tend to occupy the senior leadership positions and restrict women to clerical positions. 

Causes/factors contributing:


Perceptions about men’s and women’s leadership qualities

  • Provide training on association governance that establishes gender equitable principles of leadership and decision-making

Structural constraints on time and mobility of women

  • Investigate potential barriers to women’s leadership positions within associations

 Credits: USAID Gate Manual

Tools to apply in formulating the strategy

open for suggestions



Setting quotas for supporting women’s leadership

  • A coastal zone management project in Tanzania found that women were not actively participating in the village producer associations and environmental management groups and purposefully set out to achieve more gender equitable participation. A meeting was . . . held with both men and women to discuss the lack of participation by the women. The men recognized that when women did not participate, their understanding of the issues would suffer and the men themselves would not benefit from the ideas, experiences, suggestions and help they could get from the women. [The men] perceived the lack of participation by women to be the result of customs and tradition, rather than their own unwillingness to listen to the women, the poor timing of the meetings or the lack of advance notice, as identified by the women themselves. . . . Men and women discussed their different perceptions. The women decided that they would attend the meetings and men promised that they would listen to the women, and that meetings would be held at a time that would be more suitable for women and announced in a better manner. Subsequently women attended many of the meetings (although initially in low numbers); they took seats in the village environmental committees, and participated in the formulation of the fisheries management agreement. The project helped the village to establish quotas for women’s committee membership to reflect the activities on which women worked.

Sources: Van Ingen, T., C. Kawau, and S. Wells. “Gender Equity in Coastal Zone Management: Experiences from Tanga, Tanzania.” The World Conservation Union,December 2002.



Credits USAID Gate Manual

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