Abstract Women's participation and empowerment in value chains are goals of many development organizations, but there has been limited systematic, rigorous research to track these goals between and within value chains (VCs). We adapt the survey-based project-level Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) to measure women's and men's empowerment in the abaca, coconut, seaweed, and swine VCs in the Philippines and to investigate the correlates of empowerment. Results show that most women and men in all four VCs are disempowered, but unlike in many other countries, Filipino women in this sample are generally as empowered as men. Pro-WEAI results suggest that respect within the household and attitudes about gender-based violence (GBV) are the largest sources of disempowerment for both women and men, followed by control over use of income and autonomy in income-related decisions. Excessive workload and lack of group membership are other important sources of disempowerment, with some variation across VCs and nodes along VCs. Across all four VCs, access to community programs is associated with higher women's empowerment, and access to extension services and education are associated with higher men's empowerment. Our results show that, despite the relatively small gender gaps in the Philippines, persistent gender stereotypes influence men's and women's empowerment and VC participation.


  • Over the last three decades, agricultural value chain (VC)1 development and interventions have proliferated as instruments for rural transformation and poverty reduction

  • We present and analyze the results of the adapted pro-WEAI survey from the Philippines, including calculations of 3DE, Gender Parity Index (GPI) and pro-WEAI score by VC, VC activity, and household type

  • Educational attainment was lowest among seaweed VC respondents; about half of men and a third of women did not graduate from primary school

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Over the last three decades, agricultural value chain (VC) development and interventions have proliferated as instruments for rural transformation and poverty reduction. Achieving development outcomes while making VCs pro-poor, inclusive, and empowering to women and disadvantaged groups is challenging (Dolan and Humphrey 2000; Barrientos, Dolan, and Tallontire 2003; Minten, Randrianarison, and Swinnen 2009; Maertens, Colen, and Swinnen 2011; Dedehouanou, Swinnen, and Maertens 2013; Schuster and Maertens 2013; Reardon et al 2015). Tools and methods to analyze economic dimensions, efficiency and profitability of VCs have been the focus of VC analysis for decades. Recently have equity and distributional impacts been included in the VC analysis. Much of this work consisted of narrative and qualitative case studies and rapid assessments, rather than statistical inference and quantitative impact evaluation


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