'It Takes Two': Women’s Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains in Malawi

IFPRI Discussion Paper 2006 (2021)

71 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2021

See all articles by Catherine Ragasa

Catherine Ragasa

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Hazel Jean Malapit

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Deborah Rubin

Cultural Practice, LLC

Emily Myers

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Audrey Pereira

Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Elena Martinez

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University

Jessica Heckert

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Greg Seymour

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Diston Mzungu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Kenan Kalagho

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Cynthia Kazembe

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Jack Thunde

IDinsight

Grace Mswelo

Independent Consultant

Date Written: March 3, 2021

Abstract

Inclusive agricultural value chains (VCs) are potential drivers for poverty reduction, food security, and women’s empowerment. This report assesses the implementation of the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training for Women Program (ATVET4Women) that aims to support women with vocational training and market linkages in priority agricultural value chains. This report focuses on Malawi, one of the six pilot countries of the ATVET4Women; and focuses on vegetable value chains in which some non-formal training sessions have been conducted as of October 2019. This report presents (1) program experience of stakeholders; (2) evidence of program benefits and challenges among ATVET4Women non-formal training graduates; and (3) baseline data on value chain and empowerment indicators, using a pilot household survey-based instrument for measuring women’s empowerment in agricultural value chains (pro-WEAI for market inclusion) and supplementary qualitative research. Results show graduates’ satisfaction and appreciation of the training provided, and some graduates reported having access to more lucrative markets as a result of the training. However, positive changes in several outcome indicators were reported by only some graduates: 30 percent of graduates reported increased production and sales. There is no significant difference in the reported changes and levels of vegetable production and income between graduates and non-graduates. Qualitative findings suggest that constraints to accessing agricultural inputs and funds to upgrade their production may be why there are no measured differences. Results on empowerment status reveal that 73 percent of women and 85 percent of men in the sample are empowered, and 73 percent of the sample households achieved gender parity. The main contributor of disempowerment among women and men is lack of work balance and autonomy in income. Fewer women achieved adequacy in work balance than men. Adequacies in attitudes about domestic violence, respect among household members, input in productive decisions, and asset ownership are generally high for both women and men, but significantly lower for women. While this report is mainly descriptive and further analysis is ongoing, it offers some lessons and practical implications for improving ATVET4Women program implementation and its outcomes on women’s market access, incomes, and empowerment.

Keywords: Malawi, Southern Africa, Africa South Of Sahara, Africa, empowerment, gender, women, women's empowerment, agricultural value chains, value chains, training, market access

Suggested Citation

Ragasa, Catherine and Malapit, Hazel Jean and Rubin, Deborah and Myers, Emily and Pereira, Audrey and Martinez, Elena and Heckert, Jessica and Seymour, Greg and Mzungu, Diston and Kalagho, Kenan and Kazembe, Cynthia and Thunde, Jack and Mswelo, Grace, 'It Takes Two': Women’s Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains in Malawi (March 3, 2021). IFPRI Discussion Paper 2006 (2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3797086

Catherine Ragasa (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Hazel Jean Malapit

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Deborah Rubin

Cultural Practice, LLC ( email )

4300 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 305
Bethesda, MD 20814-4444
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalpractice.com

Emily Myers

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Audrey Pereira

Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Elena Martinez

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Jessica Heckert

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Greg Seymour

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Diston Mzungu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Kenan Kalagho

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Cynthia Kazembe

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Jack Thunde

IDinsight ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Grace Mswelo

Independent Consultant ( email )

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