We are excited to share a collection of nine Insights developed through a global public online consultation and in-depth discussions with peacebuilders on the ground.
Income generation initiatives are over-reliant on meager craft-making opportunities and often fail to connect supply to vibrant sources of demand.
Sometimes, the most effective investments for generating income for women are not in women’s skills but in facilitating trade or shifting demand for the products or services they produce. This can include providing market access or finding ways to encourage existing buyers to shift who they buy from.
Initiatives too frequently focus on craft making, where opportunities for income generation are increasingly slim and face competition from low-cost mass production and e-commerce.
Craft production training is often inadequate. Inconsistent quality and the resulting inability to scale production means that craft income usually acts as a supplemental income for women who already have work but cannot provide a stable means of support.
Invest in linking markets, particularly sources of supply to sources of demand, building demand, or shifting demand towards women’s products and services.
Identify opportunities for women in providing local services or other fields where they may be shielded from competition with mass production.
Distinguish between specialised craft with a firmly supported local skill base from generic, import-based craft that require more extensive training of unskilled labor. Business models based on the former may run with less operational costs (training, turnover, quality issues), and be better positioned to scale with more unique products for the global market.