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Abstract

The contribution of women to agricultural value chains has increased in recent decades, but evidence is still scarce, especially concerning the informal, agro-industrial and commercial sectors. This study demonstrates the participation and roles of women and their income generated in these sectors. Primary data combined with secondary census data was used to quantify employment and value added creation of a wide range of value chains in Guatemala. Women contribute nearly half of employment and of value added and their participation in traditional chains is much more pronounced than in the non-traditional export sector. Value chains offer significant employment opportunities as small entrepreneurs and as wage earners, but women occupy nodes which generate low income. Besides the unrecognized work in informal sectors, the contribution of women to the last stage of value chains remains invisible. The number of working days for preparing products before being consumed exceeds by far those applied in agro-industry and commerce. To overcome the unequal value chain participation and benefits, public policies are necessary.

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