27 Sep 2017 - IDH is proud to announce the launch of our Gender Toolkit. In the wake of our call to action on International Women’s Day last March, we have worked together with our program teams and gender experts to design this starting point to creating change in our latest impact theme, gender equality and empowerment.
Developing our focus on gender is necessary when working in global supply chains that frequently rely on women’s labor while structurally disadvantaging them. For example, in the Ivorian cocoa sector, 68% of the labor force consists of women, however they rarely benefit from the training and extension services their male peers participate in (read more on this case study from the toolkit here). Not only do exclusionary practices in our value chains negatively affect the living conditions of the women in question, they also lower productivity and supply across commodity sectors.
Creating resources such as the Gender Toolkit is crucial in operationalizing solutions to achieve gender equality & empowerment. As an initial point of departure to address and integrate gender, the toolkit illuminates the problem of gender inequality through case studies in different commodities. For each case, the toolkit outlines how improving gender equality had a positive impact on business outcomes. In the same case in Côte d’Ivoire, specific attention to the gendered division of roles in the supply chain and adapting training procedures to become more useful and accessible to women increased women’s access to training and subsequently worked to secure cocoa supply.
The Gender Guide (part of the toolkit) goes into more practical detail by outlining key steps to critically reflect on the role of gender in existing interventions or interventions under development. This process can be initiated by considering key questions throughout program implementation (Who does what in the value chain? Female/male farmers, workers, managers) and the 6 programming stages outlined in the guide further shed light on how and why gender should be factored into developing programs and interventions in all sectors and impact themes.
IDH’s Gender Toolkit is part of our commitment to mainstreaming a gender approach both internally and as we move forward in our programs to reach the goals of our Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Our approach here is informed by the understanding that to achieve gender equality & empowerment, gender must not only be seen as an isolated theme for action, but as a lens to be applied in all our interventions and impact themes. Our toolkit aims to be the first resource for IDH to embark on this approach.
Also find more information on the business case for integrating gender here, developed under the Fresh & Ingredients program.