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Gendered Enterprise and Markets (GEM)

Gendered Enterprise and Markets. Photo: Abir Abdullah/Oxfam

At a glance

GEM is Oxfam's cutting edge gendered market system approach to sustainable livelihoods development. Visit our community of practice.


Oxfam's Gendered Enterprise and Markets (GEM) approach is an innovative holistic market systems approach, driving change in markets and social systems and leading to more sustainable livelihoods for men and women smallholders.

In order to increase the impact, scale and long-term sustainability of Oxfam's work with marginalised smallholders, the GEM approach integrates the organization's expertise in three critical areas affecting enterprise and market systems development: 

The GEM approach involves using a comprehensive set of tools to look at the whole market system in order to identify Oxfam's key intervention points, from working directly with poor men and women to improve their access to, and power in, agricultural markets to influencing a range of market players.

To date, the GEM approach has been applied to country projects in at least 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, and the related tools have been used in many others. Currently, the GEM DFID AidMatch programme applies the GEM approach to improve the soya, milk and vegetable market systems in Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Zambia.

Knowledge hub

Visit the Women's Economic Empowerment in Agriculture knowledge hub for information about GEM. There you can also join a global network of individuals, groups and organisations working on advancing women's rights and economic empowerment, particularly in the area of smallholder agriculture.

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