Sourcing Gender: Gender productivity and sustainable sourcing strategies
Designing trading relationships that reach and benefit small-scale producers in a sustainable way can be a challenge for practitioners who engage directly with women in agriculture. In agriculture, women constitute the majority of farmers and producers and thus a significant part of the supply base. Yet women suffer many gender-specific constraints when participating in market-based activities. Long hours, poor nutrition, lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities, and the strains of child rearing can negatively affect women’s productivity. Limited access to education and credit facilities restricts women’s ability to absorb new labor-saving technologies or move into new value-adding activities. As such, women also find it difficult to take on managerial and supervisory positions. Creativity in approaches to investing in women can address power and access issues to train women in food production and build their capabilities as service providers. This actually means maximizing productivity across the whole workforce and all along the value chain and increasing the impact of agricultural supply chains in reducing poverty. This paper is part of a series of topic briefs from the New Business Models for Sustainable Trading Relationships (NBMSTR) project.
Author: Anoushka Boodhna, 2011