Within the context of a buoyant cattle sector in Nicaragua, industrial upgrading of the dairy value chain is widely considered as a positive contribution to growth and equity. That view, however, is based on a gender-blind assessment of value chain dynamics. This article presents a
gendered analysis of two dairy value chains in Nicaragua. The first is a more locally oriented, urban-based, semi-industrial chain with ample participation of small-scale family businesses; the second an export-oriented, upgraded industrial chain, where associative enterprises are the main
players. Our analysis shows that industrial upgrading comes at the cost of reduced female participation. Remedial action to counteract this gender bias is required.