CLEAR+ Gender Analysis and Action Plan

Global Communities is implementing the CLEAR+ project (2023-2028), funded by USAID’s Cooperative Development Program, in Kenya and Guatemala. It builds upon the successes, lessons learned, and partnerships developed under the recently concluded CLEAR project (2018-2023) in Kenya. Cooperatives are a proven business model to support economic and social growth and resilience and present an opportunity for traditionally marginalized groups to collaborate, achieve economies of scale, create stable jobs, and share resources. CLEAR+ aims to support the advancement and scale of worker cooperatives, in particular, as they demonstrate great potential for economic and social transformation, providing opportunities in urban areas and high value sectors like tourism and artisanal skilled labor (i.e. weaving, construction, welding, and mechanics). Globally, youth are moving to urban centers and expressing a preference for high earning work in technology and services. These sectors are prime for the worker cooperative model which allows member owners to have a say in the business operations while also holding more secure employment. Global Communities will support the growth of these worker cooperatives and prioritize the meaningful participation and leadership of youth, women, and indigenous persons, advocating for gender-responsive policies and services at the national and cooperatives level to foster equitable job creation and economic opportunity.

A gender and social inclusion analysis was conducted to ensure that CLEAR+ has an in-depth understanding of the gender norms, attitudes, and behaviors that will impact the implementation of activities. This report presents the findings of the analysis that examined publicly available reports and articles documenting gender dynamics, opportunities, and barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and participation in cooperatives in Guatemala and Kenya.

Key Findings:

  1. Traditional gender norms, especially in more rural areas, restrict women’s participation, leadership, and success in cooperatives and as entrepreneurs. Such traditional gender norms must be considered and influenced for women’s participation.
  2. Women’s cooperatives and their roles within cooperatives tend to be concentrated in activities that are traditionally delegated to women creating many opportunities for increased opportunities.
  3. Women comprise a minority of cooperative leadership in both Guatemala and Kenya. Meaningful leadership opportunities should be a key project priority.

The report includes recommendations and a gender action plan for CLEAR+ based on the analysis findings and analysis.