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A gender analysis of the processing sector of the tuna value chain in General Santos City, Philippines

Alice Prieto-Carolino, Ida M. Siason, Marieta B. Sumagaysay, Rowena Paz L. Gelvezon, Harold M. Monteclaro, Rosario H. Asong


This paper aims to examine the roles and relations of women and men in the processing sector of the tuna value chain in General Santos City, Philippines. Based on the household survey, focus group discussions and key informant interviews the study reveals the gender division of labor in canning, frozen and tuna value-adding processing (TVAP). Women are assigned to tasks that require more attention to details and thoroughness while men do the physically demanding and mechanical work. College graduates have full time jobs in canneries but the females’ income is at most only 60% of the males’ income. Although women are perceived to be more efficient in processing tuna and more trustworthy than men on money matters, they are economically disadvantaged and are likely to experience sexual harassment at work. It is the men in TVAP who are the most marginalized due to the intersections of gender, age, education and migrant status. The paper proposes that there should be more gender responsive policies and programs that will challenge the existing power relations at the household, community, and industry level. Processors and other value chain enablers should work towards women’s empowerment and gender equitable outcomes.

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