CCRA-1: Gendered Access to Markets: Gendered Networks and Livelihood Alternatives

Prinicipal Investigator:

Maria Elisa Christie
Director, Women in Development, Virginia Tech
Gender equity coordinator, SANREM CRSP


The SANREM CRSP approach demonstrates how linkages among gender, biophysical, technological, governance, economic, social, environmental, and globalization factors can be used to achieve sustainable development. As markets emerge and change, producers are grouping together to improve their access to resources and support sustainable livelihoods. Ignoring gender in the design and implementation of development activities will lead to failure to achieve household well-being, poverty reduction and gender equity, resulting in the further marginalization of women and other vulnerable groups. This project aims to compare how gendered networks and coalitions affect the ability of groups to access and control natural resources and to access appropriate markets and capture value for their agricultural and forest products. It will allow researchers to better understand how farmers and foresters manage resources and link to markets, what types of network characteristics contribute to securing sustainable livelihoods, and under what conditions these characteristics are most effective.

Following are specific questions guiding this research:

  • How is access to markets for sustainable agriculture or natural resource products gendered? For example, which products are sold by women sell and which by men? Do men and women get different prices for the same products? If so, why? Which market activities are carried out by women? By men? Are there niches in the market under the control of women? Of men? How do other factors such as class and ethnicity interact with gender in determining these niches and outcomes in bargaining?
  • How are surpluses captured through marketing of local agricultural products and natural resources? By whom? Where? Does this differ for men and women?
  • How are the financial gains from market participation translated into tangible social gains within the household, and how does the process of resource allocation differ between men and women as well as among women in different contexts?
  • Are there male-dominated or female-dominated networks or coalitions that influence access to markets, as well as returns and benefits?
  • How do women negotiate obstacles to market access?
  • How do coalitions and networks arise? How are they sustained? How do they benefit people?
  • Where is networks’ sources of power? How do they add value and permit groups to extract surpluses?
  • Where are men’s and women’s physical areas in the production and processing of products destined for market?
  • What factors affect women’s choices of crops grown and natural resources managed, or practices they adopt?

Considerable progress has been made in identifying and summarizing key articles on research in gender and development, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management (120 in English, 26 in Spanish). These were added to the SANREM Knowledgebase online, and the 10 most useful references were sent directly to the principal investigators and participants.

To to learn more about SANREM's gender program, please see the Gender Integration section of our website. 

Related News:

See related News articles from 2008 entitled "Workshop covers community, stereotypes" and "In Bolivia’s marketplaces, women rule."