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The Gender Action Learning System (GALS) Approach in Community Empowerment

Women's Empowerment Collective

The Gender Action Learning System (GALS) is an approach to community empowerment that focuses on gender equality and positive change. Relung Indonesia uses this approach in its programs and conducts training for coffee farmer groups and other farmer groups. The GALS training for coffee farmer groups aims to increase gender awareness and narrow the gender gap in coffee plantation business activities.

A Housewife Presenting Her Task.

The GALS approach prioritizes participation and uses visual aids such as drawings to encourage reflection and discussion on gender roles within families and communities. This training uses FGD methods, where participants are divided into male and female groups to discuss their perceptions of gender. This activity can reveal that there are still stereotypes about the roles of men and women in society. Stereotypes about gender roles in society often create limited and inaccurate views of what individuals should do based on their gender.

These stereotypes can limit individuals’ potential and lead to gender inequality in various aspects of life, including education, employment, and family life. It is important to recognize and challenge these stereotypes so that everyone has an equal opportunity to develop and contribute to society.

A Head of Household Presenting His Task.

Another approach used is to use daily activity diagrams to identify and analyze the workload borne by men and women in the context of households and communities. This diagram helps understand the division of labor based on gender and highlights significant differences in activities performed by men and women.

The GALS approach in coffee farming is a methodology aimed at strengthening gender equality and promoting active participation from both women and men in the coffee value chain. In the coffee value chain, the division of labor is still influenced by patriarchal culture, where men are more involved in production and marketing stages, while women tend to be involved in post-harvest and sales stages. Nevertheless, women make a significant contribution to household income through farming efforts.

Through the GALS approach, coffee farmer groups seek to formulate a shared vision for the success of their families and communities and identify opportunities and challenges in achieving it. By understanding gender roles better and planning concrete steps, it is hoped that the coffee value chain can become more inclusive and empower both women and men.


Sunaring Kurniandaru

“Women are the first school for their children, so be a smart woman.”


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