Kosovo, Pristina, May 14 – 16, 2014, 24 participants of 15 organizations were gathered to build their capacities to carry out value chain development programs in a gender sensitive manner. The workshop was organized by the SDC funded program Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) of Swisscontact, together with GIZ, USAID and the Enhancing Youth Employment (EYE) project. This workshop is not a stand-alone activity but the start of a one year process in which the knowledge and skills are applied in the organizations of the participants with the guidance of two coaches. The workshop builds on the experiences of Agri-ProFocus, Dutch network of organizations engaged in the promotion of farmer entrepreneurship.
The workshop had a practical rather than theoretical character, providing tools and strategies to be applied by the participants in their organizations. A half day field work was included in the program to encourage the participants to reflect on how application of the new knowledge and skills could be applied in their work with farmers (male and female). The workshop was facilitated by Angelica Senders, gender in value chain network facilitator of Agri-Profocus and consultant of Fair and Sustainable Advisory services and Mieke Vanderschaeghe, independent gender and inclusive development expert based in Nicaragua together with Magbule Hyseni and Emine Daci from Kosovo, the coaches of the participants in the coming year.
The afternoon of the first workshop day was dedicated to group work gender sensitive mapping of 4 value chains (peppers, tomatoes, tourism and apples). The results of the gender mapping were very interesting. In both agricultural as tourism value chains women are not participating as business owners since most property is owned by men. Only in the food processing link, women participate as owners of small processing plants. In all three agricultural value chains analyzed women have a very important participation as unpaid family labor. They participate as (unpaid) family labor in family business of vegetable or fruit production, especially for functions that need care as: producing of plant seedlings, transplanting, harvesting, grading, washing and processing.
On the second day two more tools for gender analysis were presented and exercised in groups: A first tool to assess how men and women contribute to the quality of the produce, and how they benefit from their participation and a second tool to assess supporting services from a gender perspective. The rest of day 2 was dedicated to the field work in Vushtrri and Prugovc. The exercise was highly appreciated and showed the use of talking to male and female farmers, first separately and later together. Besides practicing with the tools, participants gained an interesting insight:
‘We always thought that men work in agricultural production, women in processing. But women are very important in production, from seeding to harvesting and post harvesting. I was surprised that women are equally engaged as men from the first stage of production and wanted to learn about modern agricultural techniques. We mainly give agricultural training to men, but I see that most tasks are done by women but they are invisible.’