“Market development & Competitiveness enhancement for cinnamon products to promote women’s economic empowerment in Lao Cai province” Project (“Spice for Equality”)
The mountainous Northwest region of Vietnam is home to a diverse range of ethnic minorities. This is also the segment of the population with the highest levels of poverty and inequality in Vietnam. Ethnic minority women play an important role in tourism and agriculture, such as serving as tour guides, producing and selling crafts, textiles, or cultivating and harvesting agricultural products. However, the profits and economic efficiency they create are often low.
In contribution to improving living standards, people's intellectual level as well as ensuring social security, promoting gender equality becomes one of the highly regarded social works. In particular, creating an environment for women in ethnic minority areas to be aware of their potential to contribute to the society, as well as creating conditions for them to develop their livelihoods are among the top priorities.
Understanding this, the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV partners with Australian Aid, Aus4Equality and Agricultural Extension and Services Center of Lao Cai province implements “Spice for Equality” in order to promote women’s economic empowerment in Van Ban and Bac Ha districts. This is a part of the bigger “Gender-Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism” project funded by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
CREATIO has the honour to contribute as the communication partner to design and illustrate the training materials for the project.
1/ Project execution
The project strongly focuses on gender transformation, which will address barriers to women’s participation in cinnamon value-chains, and better support women’s genuine economic empowerment.
The two training materials, named “Common Interest Group Management” and “Using Tools to Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment through Production Groups in Cinnamon Value Chains” were particularly curated and designed for the use of ethnic minority women. Understanding the insights of end-users of the materials, the creative team at CREATIO have sketched out and illustrated the simple yet sincere image of the local women, incorporating daily life activities into the drawings in the hope to convey the message of the project.
These two handbooks are essential tools to help ethnic minority women move towards independence, equality in life, therefore increase productivity, purchasing and selling power in groups, share their experiences, share the risks and reduce production costs, increase access to credit and finance as well as agricultural markets…
2/ The project impact
Through a series of workshops implemented in detail to each ethnic minority group, the project "Spices for Equity" has created meaningful values for local people, especially ethnic minority women. The toolkits, including training handbooks designed by CREATIO, used at the knowledge sharing sessions have helped households in the two districts understand how to organise groups, understand issues of the current situation in cinnamon production. They can answer the question why the outcomes from cinnamon are not as expected, gender equality in the family, coordination and division between husband and wife in daily works and in planting cinnamon, any issues affecting the productivity and income of the family and the significance of the group organisation in the value chain of cinnamon production.
The project "Spices for Equity" focuses on improving skills and creating an environment for ethnic minority women - one of the most disadvantaged groups of the national economy, to have access to knowledge and contribute to the value chain of production. Thereby, the project can achieve the goal of improving the economic and social status of women in Lao Cai province through the development of women's participation in the value chain of cinnamon production as well as the high quality cinnamon market.