Women’s Economic Empowerment though Agriculture Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE)
Although Vietnam has enjoyed significant economic growth in recent decades, social and economic inequality persists particularly for ethnic minority women living in some of the poorest provinces in the Northwestern region of Vietnam. Ethnic minority women face multiple barriers to social and economic development that prevents them from benefitting from the economic changes in Vietnam as it moves towards a market based economy. To increase women’s economic empowerment and social inclusion in agricultural value chains, a change of attitudes among key actors combined with strengthened capacity and commitment by key public and private stakeholders is required. The ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment through Agricultural Value Chain Enhancement’ (WEAVE) project, funded by the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), aims to increase women’s social and economic empowerment and social inclusion in agricultural value chains in rural Vietnam by targeting changes at different levels. The project, which is implemented by SNV, Oxfam and Care between June 2016 and August 2019, aims to promote more equitable gender relations at the household level, more effective producer groups resulting in increased income for members at the community level and an improved enabling environment focusing on current government policies and socio-economic development plans. The project will be implemented in two of the poorest provinces in the Northern mountainous region of Vietnam, Lao Cai and Bac Kan, and builds upon ongoing work of the three NGOs in these provinces. The project adds value to these existing initiatives by strengthening the gender equality components through a combined gender transformative and value chain approach. Interventions will focus on the most important value chains in these regions, cinnamon and pork in Lao Cai and bananas in Bac Kan, and will address gender-based barriers to women’s full participation in these value chains. It will link women producers and entrepreneurs with each other to increase opportunities for women’s collective action, and will strengthen links between women and other value-chain actors to create opportunities for women’s economic participation.