GEM (Gendered Enterprise and Markets)

Photo: Abir Abdullah/Oxfam

GEM Approach



Geographical focus

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Chad
  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Honduras
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Paraguay
  • OPTI
  • Rwanda
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

WEE outcomes

  • Women’s collective action strengthened and power in markets increased
  • Women recognised as economic actors and leaders
  • Women’s economic activities are more profitable and less risky
  • Adaptation and risk-management strategies integrate considerations of women’s life cycle’s risks, gender-based violence and gendered impacts of climate change
  • Negative outcomes (such as increased work burdens) are mitigated
  • Unpaid care work is recognized, reduced, redistributed

Oxfam GB’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.