Women comprise up to 50 per cent of the agricultural labor force in Southeast Asia. Most of them still face structural challenges due to lower access to resources and services and higher barriers from cultural and social norms.
PRISMA joined Grow Asia, Mars, and East-West Seed for the "Gender Mainstreaming in Agri Value Chains in Southeast Asia" webinar on 24 February 2021 to highlight the opportunity in driving rural economic growth through women’s increased participation along agriculture value chains. It offered an overview of gender mainstreaming concepts and their practical application in the agricultural sector, illustrated by various examples from around the region.
During the event, PRISMA’s gender specialists Nisa Usman and Maryam Piracha discussed its gender inclusion and women's empowerment approach to implement innovative business cases. PRISMA develops inclusive business models to increase women participation and empowerment while showing the commercial benefits from engaging them in business. The business models, such as the women sales agents’ model, help to ensure sustainable impact throughout agricultural value chains, including for farmers and business partners.
The webinar was a platform for Grow Asia to launch its Gender Mainstreaming in Agri Value Chains in Southeast Asia report. The report disseminates learnings and best practices from Grow Asia’s partners – including PRISMA, Mars, and East-West Seed – in developing and maintaining gender mainstreaming in their organisations and within their value chains and individual farmer communities.
The findings show encouraging uptake. By incentivising gender mainstreaming in their works, organisations can achieve a positive return of investment and revenue generation, increase performance and external reputation for productivity and efficiency within the organisations, and promote children’s opportunity to education while reducing the risks of child labour.