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East Africa

Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions

Citation:

Nelson, Valerie, and Tanya Stathers. 2009. “Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions.” Gender and Development 17 (1): 81–94.

Authors: Valerie Nelson, Tanya Stathers

Abstract:

Rapid changes to the climate are predicted over the next few years, and these present challenges for women's empowerment and gender equality on a completely new scale. There is little evidence or research to provide a reliable basis for gender-sensitive approaches to agricultural adaptation to climate change. This article explores the gender dimensions of climate change, in relation to participation in decision-making, divisions of labour, access to resources, and knowledge systems. It draws on insights from recent research on agricultural adaptation to climate change in Tanzania. The article then explains why future gender-sensitive climate-adaptation efforts should draw upon insights from 'resilience thinking', 'political ecology', and environmental anthropology - as a way of embedding analysis of power struggles and cultural norms in the context of the overall socio-ecological system.

Keywords: gender, climate, culture, Resilience, adaptation, agriculture, anthropology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2009

Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice

Citation:

Le Masson, Virginie. 2016. “Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice.” Working Paper, BRACED Knowledge Manager, London.

Author: Virginie Le Masson

Annotation:

Summary: 
This paper presents a synthesis of four case studies documenting strategies towards building gender equality through resilience projects. It draws on the experience of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the implementation of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) projects: Mercy Corps (Uganda), ActionAid (Myanmar), Concern (Sudan/Chad) and Christian Aid and King’s College London (Burkina Faso). The analysis also reflects on discussions held during a writeshop that brought together NGO practitioners, donor representatives and researchers, to examine different approaches to integrate gender and social equality as part of efforts to build communities’ resilience to climate change and disasters. 
 
The papers seeks to document how gender inequalities manifest themselves in all four contexts affected by climate change; how gender is conceptualised in project theories of change (ToCs); the operationalisation of objectives to tackle gender inequalities; internal and external obstacles to the implementation of gender-sensitive activities; and drivers that help NGOs transform gender relations and build resilience. 
 
The four case studies describe how disasters and climate change affect gender groups in different ways and also underscore the patriarchal social norms that disproportionately restrict women and girls’ equal access to rights and resources. The resulting inequalities are likely to undermine women and girls’ resilience, and ultimately that of their households and communities – an assumption that underpins projects’ ToCs. Hence, projects that aim to enhance people’s resilience capacities have to recognise social diversities, inequalities and their inter-sectionality. If they fail to do so, they risk further marginalising and undermining the capacities of those who lack access to decision-making or experience discrimination. 
 
Based on lessons from NGOs’ experience, and challenges they face in the particular contexts where they operate, this papers aims to inform practitioners on how to draw on promising practices to make resilience projects inclusive and equitable. It also provides a set of recommendations to point out areas where further research is required to increase understanding of resilience to climate extremes and longer-term changes, and to suggest how donors and funding can best support efforts to build communities’ resilience. 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, intersectionality, Households, NGOs Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Myanmar, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2016

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

Gender Differences in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Participation in Group-based Approaches: An Intra-household Analysis From Rural Kenya

Citation:

Ngigi, Marther W., Ulrike Mueller, and Regina Birner. 2017. “Gender Differences in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Participation in Group-Based Approaches: An Intra-Household Analysis from Rural Kenya.” Ecological Economics 138: 99-108.

Authors: Marther W. Ngigi, Ulrike Mueller, Regina Birner

Abstract:

Existing studies on adaptation to climate change mainly focus on a comparison of male-headed and female-headed households. Aiming at a more nuanced gender analysis, this study examines how husbands and wives within the same household perceive climate risks and use group-based approaches as coping strategies. The data stem from a unique intra-household survey involving 156 couples in rural Kenya. The findings indicate that options for adapting to climate change closely interplay with husbands' and wives' roles and responsibilities, social norms, risk perceptions and access to resources. A higher percentage of wives were found to adopt crop-related strategies, whereas husbands employ livestock- and agroforestry-related strategies. Besides, there are gender-specific climate information needs, trust in information and preferred channels of information dissemination. Further, it turned out that group-based approaches benefit husbands and wives differently. Policy interventions that rely on group-based approaches should reflect the gender reality on the ground in order to amplify men's and women's specific abilities to manage risks and improve well-being outcomes in the face of accelerating climate change. 

Keywords: perceptions, adaptation, Group-based approaches, gender, Intra-household analysis, Kenya

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Households Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2017

Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction

Citation:

Ssali, Sarah N., and Sally Theobald. 2016. “Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction.” South African Review of Sociology 47 (1): 81-98.

Authors: Sarah N. Ssali, Sally Theobald

Abstract:

The dearth of knowledge about what life was like for different women and men, communities and institutions during conflict has caused many post-conflict developers to undertake reconstruction using standardised models that may not always reflect the realities of the affected populations. There is a need to engage with and understand the life experiences, transformations and social concerns of people affected by conflict before, during and after the conflict in order to develop appropriate and context embedded post-conflict reconstruction strategies. This article discusses how life histories were deployed to explore how the 20-year conflict in northern Uganda transformed people's lives. It presents how 47 men and women lived, experienced and remembered the war in northern Uganda, and the implications for health care reconstruction. By focusing on what the respondents considered major life events in their narratives of war experiences, the article shows how through using life histories, the respondents were empowered to narrate in their own voices their experiences of war; how gender and power(lessness) shaped their experiences and their ‘situatedness’ within the conflict and thereafter; and the implications this has for post-conflict health reconstruction. The life history method enabled the researchers to surmount the subjective nature of narratives of war and its after effects, permitting the researchers to construct a picture of how experiences and challenges to well-being, health and health care seeking changed through time and what needs to be done to ensure post-conflict development prioritises the multiple health care needs of those most impoverished by the war.

Keywords: Uganda, conflict, life histories, gender, health

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands

Citation:

Caretta, Martina Angela, and Lowe Börjeson. 2015. “Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 22 (5): 644–61.

Authors: Martina Angela Caretta, Lowe Börjeson

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article presents the local gender contract of a smallholder irrigation farming community in Sibou, Kenya. Women’s role in subsistence farming in Africa has mostly been analyzed through the lens of gender division of labor. In addition to this, we used the concept of ‘local gender contract’ to analyze cultural and material preconditions shaping gender-specific tasks in agricultural production, and consequently, men’s and women’s different strategies for adapting to climate variability. We show that the introduction of cash crops, as a trigger for negotiating women’s and men’s roles in the agricultural production, results in a process of gender contract renegotiation, and that families engaged in cash cropping are in the process of shifting from a ‘local resource contract’ to a ‘household income contract.’ Based on our analysis, we argue that a transformation of the local gender contract will have a direct impact on the community’s adaptive capacity climate variability. It is, therefore, important to take the negotiation of local gender contracts into account in assessments of farming communities’ adaptive capacity.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este trabajo presenta el contrato local de género de una comunidad de pequeños agricultores de agricultura de riego en Sibou, Kenia. El rol de las mujeres en la agricultura de subsistencia en África ha sido mayormente analizado con una óptica de la división generizada del trabajo. Además de esto, utilizamos el concepto de “contrato de género local” para analizar las precondiciones culturales y materiales que dan forma a las tareas específicas de cada género en la producción agrícola, y consecuentemente, las diferentes estrategias de hombres y mujeres para adaptarse a la variabilidad del clima. Mostramos que la introducción de cultivos comerciales, como disparador para la negociación de los roles de las mujeres y los hombres en la producción agrícola, resulta en un proceso de renegociación del contrato de género, y que las familias que participan del cultivo comercial se encuentran en el proceso de cambio de un “contrato local de recursos” a un “contrato de ingresos del hogar”. Basado en nuestro análisis, sostenemos que una transformación del contrato local de género tendrá un impacto directo en la capacidad adaptativa de la comunidad a la variabilidad del clima. Es por lo tanto importante tener en cuenta a los contratos de género locales al evaluar la capacidad adaptativa de las comunidades agricultoras.
 
CHINESE ABSTRACT:
本文呈现肯尼亚希普(Sibou)中的一个小农灌溉农业小区的在地性别契约。女性在非洲口粮耕种中的角色,多半透过性别劳动分工的视角检视之。除此之外,我们运用“在地性别契约”的概念,分析形塑农业生产中特定性别工作的文化与物质先决条件,及其所导致的男性与女性调试气候变异的不同策略。我们将显示,经济作物的引进,做为协商女性与男性在农业生产中的角色之触媒,导致性别契约的再协商过程,从事经济作物耕作的家庭,则正在经历从“在地资源契约”转向“家户收入契约”的过程。根据我们的分析,我们主张,在地性别契约的转变,将直接影响小区对气候变异的调适能力。因此,在评估农业社群的调适能力时,考量在地性别契约的协商是至关重要的。

Keywords: local gender contract, climate variability, East African drylands, smallholder irrigation farming, gendered adaptive capacity, contrato de género local, variabilidad climática, tierras secas del África Oriental, agricultura de riego a pequeña escala, capacidad adaptativa generizada, 在地性别契约, 气候变异, 东非旱地, 小农灌溉农作, 性别化的调适能力

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

Women, Land and Justice in Tanzania

Citation:

Dancer, Helen. 2015. Women, Land and Justice in Tanzania. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. 

Author: Helen Dancer

Annotation:

Summary: 
Recent decades have seen a wave of land law reforms across Africa, in the context of a "land rush" and land-grabbing. But how has this been enacted on the ground and, in particular, how have women experienced this? This book seeks to re-orientate current debates on women's land rights towards a focus on the law in action. Drawing on the author's ethnographic research in the Arusha region of Tanzania, it explores how the country's land law reforms have impacted on women's legal claims to land. Centring on cases involving women litigants, the book considers the extent to which women are realising their interests in land through land courts and follows the progression of women's claims to land - from their social origins through processes of dispute resolution to judgment. Dancer's work explores three central issues. First, it considers the nature of women's claims to land in Tanzanian family contexts, the value of land in an era of land reform and the 'land rush' across Africa, and the extent to which the social issues raised are addressed by Tanzania's current laws and legal system. Secondly, it examines how agency and power relations between social and legal actors engaged in legal processes affect women's access to justice and the progression of claims. Thirdly, it explores Tanzanian concepts of justice and rights and how women's claims have been judged by land courts in practice. Helen Dancer is a lecturer in Law at the University of Brighton. She practised as a barrister in England specialising in family legal aid cases prior to training as a legal anthropologist. She is also a consultant for Future Agricultures at IDS, University of Sussex. Her areas of research interest include law and development, gender and land, and human rights and legal pluralism. (Summary from JSTOR)

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2015

'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda

Citation:

Højlund Madsen, Diana. 2018. "'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda." Women's Studies International Forum 66: 70-77.

Author: Diana Højlund Madsen

Abstract:

Much work on Resolution 1325 and the agenda of ‘women, peace and security’ has its focus on how Res 1325 has ‘trickled down’ from the global to the local level in a specific context. This article will reverse the gaze highlighting women's local perspectives asking what the ‘women, peace and security agenda’ have done for respectively the national women's organisations and local women's groups in a specific African post-conflict setting - Rwanda. The article sheds light on the local/global dynamics in the processes of translating Res 1325 with a focus on the gender language and practices. Thus, it explores how the global gender language and the global norms laid out in Resolution 1325 has been used by national women's organisations working as ‘localising agents’ in transformative processes where the gender norms laid out have become part of the gender vocabulary of the women's organisations and been appropriated. The article also explores to which extent Resolution 1325 has worked as promoting women's rights and gender equality at the level of local women's groups and identifies some tension with local understandings of gender and local practices indicating that further localising is needed.

Keywords: gender, norm translation, Resolution 1325, Rwanda, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation

Citation:

Horst, Cindy. 2017. "Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda? Somali Debates on Women's Public Roles and Political Participation." Journal of Eastern African Studies 11 (3): 389-407.

Author: Cindy Horst

Abstract:

In conflict and post-conflict settings, the international community operates with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda supporting gender equality. During and after war, gender roles are often deeply contested as part of larger societal transformations and uncertainties. In Somalia since the 1960s, gender identities and roles have undergone substantial changes, influenced by contemporary political systems, the women’s movement, civil war and religious transformations. The international community’s role in these societal transformations should not be over-estimated. Life history research with Somali women shows that debates on women’s roles in the public sphere are taking place irrespective of the international agenda. Somali women have, at least since the 1960s, held civil-political leadership positions, despite substantial disagreements on the public role of women in Somalia. Furthermore, the “international”and “local” are difficult to disentangle. The Somali female elite have often spent years abroad and introduced new gender perspectives from places as divergent as Egypt, Russia and the United States. Global cultural and religious trends are influencing post-war Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland. In this complex socio- cultural landscape, the international WPS agenda can support –but also risk delegitimizing – Somali processes and perspectives. The article illustrates the gap that exists between global norms and local realities by focusing on Somali discourse on women’s public roles and political participation.

Keywords: gender, Somalia, women, civil war, social change, diaspora, statebuilding, nation-building, peace, security

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Somalia

Year: 2017

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