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Overview

The shea sector in Mali is fertile ground for women’s collective action (WCA). Shea production, processing and marketing are almost entirely female-dominated activities, and, in the four villages studied for the WCA research, the shea sector has always been exclusively female. Since the late 1990s, formally recognized associations and cooperatives have emerged out of pre-existing forms of community involvement in the area. The findings from Mali show that in the right conditions, the active participation of women in CA can empower individual women, thereby augmenting their decision-making power and influence within both the household and the community, contributing to lasting changes in gender relations.

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