About our work

The EU FLEGT Facility, supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), works to contribute to poverty eradication and sustainable forest management in Asia through support to the implementation of the EU FLEGT Action Plan.

Gender dimensions of SMEs and VPAs

Women make up a significant proportion of the small business workforce in the forest and timber sector in the Mekong region. However, there has been little analysis of the gender‐specific situations, equity and equality in work and social environments, impacts of regulation on women, or the risks that modernisation of value chains may pose to women.

Experience from other sectors, such as fisheries, shows that women’s multiple roles in traditional, complex and lengthy value chains tend to diminish when value chains are modernised. This may also be true of the timber-product sector.

Women also have less security of tenure than men. This often means women lack access to finance and credit to support their wood product businesses, as they have no land to use as collateral.

The assessment will therefore:

  • Consider actions to address the regulatory barriers and other obstacles facing small enterprises in Mekong forest product value chains, including those specific to women
  • Provide opportunities to develop support mechanisms and capacity building that actively support women’s engagement in the forest sector.

The activities should answer a number of questions, including:

  • What roles and positions do women occupy in the value chain?
  • What barriers do women face in the value chain?
  • Which regulations affect the value chain and how does their enforcement affect women’s employment?
  • What opportunities are there to improve the regulatory environment and to ensure better functional positions for women working in these value chains?
  • What opportunities are there to strengthen women’s roles as producers and processors, including support for financial services, financial management and business development services?
Factory staff registering dried teak, Yangon, Myanmar

Factory staff registering dried teak, Yangon, Myanmar. Credit: EU FLEGT Facility.

More information

About Sida

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. For more information visit the Sida website: www.sida.se


Information note: Diagnoses and regulatory assessments of small, micro and informal forest-products enterprises in the Mekong Region (English, Thai and Vietnamese)