The Value of Organization: The effect of organization on the livelihoods of female home based workers in Nepal
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Under the process of informalization and feminization the number of female home based workers is growing and relegated to the bottom of global value chains. Organization has been identified as an important tool for improving the vulnerable position if female home based workers. The aim of this research is to get insight into the position in the value chain of female home based workers in the context of Kathmandu and Hetauda, Nepal, and to analyze how organization affects the position in the value chain of these female home based workers and their livelihood as a whole. It is found that the female home based workers in this study are part of a captive value chain, in which the buyers hold the power and control and in which the female home based workers are highly vulnerable and powerless, as they are women with little marketing skills and knowledge, and highly dependent on the work. It is argued that organization not only helps the female home based workers directly through access to savings and credit, awareness trainings, and the development of friendships, but also to increase their competence in the value chain through skill improvement, market knowledge, and collective bargaining. It might even lead to a change in chain governance from a captive towards a relational one, in which there is more trust and mutual dependence between producer and buyer. Furthermore, it is argued that organization is essential for creating an enabling environment for the home based workers to live and work. Advocating for more inclusive policies and government programs and working together with trade unions and NGOs can contribute significantly to this.