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Value chain governance and gender in the furniture industry

Value chain governance and gender in the furniture industry

Indonesian furniture accounts for almost 2% of the global wood furniture trade, which is
valued at more than US $135 billion. In many countries, including Japan, European
countries and Indonesia, women make decisions about selecting which furniture to buy.
However, the role of women workers in the furniture industry has not been clearly
identified. In Central Java’s Jepara District, the center of teak-based Indonesian
furniture, annual furniture exports to Australia, Europe, Japan and the United States are
valued at US $150 million. We use value chain analysis and action research to
demonstrate the role and position of women workers in Jepara’s teak value chain, and
their struggle to upgrade to more valuable value chains and positions. Though women
workers are important in generating revenue, they are paid 50% less than men who
work the same hours. They are also less powerful, exercising less control over
resources, decision making, product development and bargaining. We further explore
different scenarios for upgrading small-scale producers and find that participation in
trade exhibitions, training programs and producer associations substantially affect
women’s bargaining power in the value chain.

Authors: Purnomo, H.; Irawati, R.H.; Fauzan, A.U.; Melati

Topic: gender,tenure,livelihoods,products trade,furniture

Geographic: Indonesia

Publication Year: 2011

Source: 13th IASC International Conference, Sustainung commons: Sustaining our future, 10-14 January 2011, Hyderabad, India. 13p


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