IDS Bulletin Vol. 32 Nos. 3

Gender, Flexibility and Global Value Chains

Published on 1 July 2001

Summaries Gender is often overlooked in the analysis of global value chains. Analysis of value chains incorporates all aspects from design, through production to final distribution and consumption. These activities are embedded within prevailing gender relations that affect value chains at every node. Conversely the operation of value chains can affect the prevailing gender division of labour in different localities. This article provides an initial contribution to an analysis of gender and value chains, drawing on the example of the horticultural value chain linking South Africa and Chile to European retail. It explores how flexible female employment at one end of the chain provides supply flexibility in the global chain. At the other end, supermarkets exploit changing working and consumption. patterns to sell high value?added food, previously prepared in the home. Examining the gender dimension provides a much more comprehensive analysis of value chains, through which all aspects of their functioning can be better understood.

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Barrientos, S. (2001) Gender, Flexibility and Global Value Chains. IDS Bulletin 32(3): 83-93

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Barrientos, Stephanie


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