Empowering female horticulture farmers with participatory learning tools


Gender and Youth Empowerment in horticulture Markets (GYEM) project is empowering horticultural farmers through Participatory Action Learning for Sustainability. The project assessed the effectiveness of the methodology.

Participatory Action Learning for Sustainability (PALS) is a community-led empowerment methodology which aims to give women, youth as well as men more control over their lives and catalyse and support a sustainable movement for social justice. PALS mainstreams gender and diversity as essential components of the effectiveness and sustainability of any development intervention.

Gender and Youth Empowerment in horticulture Markets (GYEM) project applies PALS to reach a value chain in which women and men benefit in an equal way for the work they do. This relates to equal remuneration, equal decision-making, control over productive assets, equal access to opportunities, equal control over benefits (like income), sharing of household chores.

The project assessed the implementation of the methodology to have a deeper look into the validity, impact, and the unforeseen side-effects of and draw lessons from the intervention.

The assessment made clear that with regard to the beneficiaries, SNV can assess the effectivity of the intervention at two levels:

Personal level: a clear behavioural change is notable among most of the champions. Most female champions indeed acquire their own sources of income and see an improvement in self-confidence and status.

Relational level: a considerable (about 40%) of respondents mention an improvement in intramarital cooperation and fruitful discussions on financial decisions.

In general, most direct beneficiaries acquire planning skills and apply these to lever economic agency. However, one should not lose out of sight the risk on negative side-effects of the instrumentality of women, the suffering of the social network and the social desirability of the answers.