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Gender mainstreaming in value chain development: Experience with Gender Action Learning System in Uganda

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Abstract:

There is an emerging consensus that promoting gender justice in value chain development is not only a rights issue for women, but makes 'business sense' for households, enterprises, and ultimately the national economy. This article discusses experiences using a community-led methodology, Gender Action Learning System (GALS), with producers and traders of coffee, maize, fruits (avocados, pineapples, and passion fruit), and beans in Kasese District, Western Uganda. This community-led value chain development methodology has brought about profound changes for significant numbers of people in a relatively short period of time, on sensitive and potentially conflictual issues such as gender-based violence and land ownership as well as decision-making, division of labour, and women's access to health and education. These changes have taken place with the full support of many men who have become enthusiastic promoters of gender equality as part of their own vision of happiness and social justice. Addressing gender inequalities at all levels of the chain forms a 'win–win strategy' which has increased incomes and contributed to upgrading whole value chains and developing the local economy.

Keywords: GENDER ACTION LEARNING SYSTEM; GENDER INEQUALITY; UGANDA; VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3362/1755-1986.2012.031

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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