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Southern Africa

Addressing Women in Climate Change Policies: A Focus on Selected East and Southern African Countries

Citation:

Nhamo, Godwell. 2014. “Addressing Women in Climate Change Policies: A Focus on Selected East and Southern African Countries.” Agenda 28 (3): 156-67.

Author: Godwell Nhamo

Abstract:

This Article responds to claims in the literature that gender mainstreaming is lacking in international and national climate change policy regimes. A scan of climate change policies from selected east and southern African countries was conducted to assess whether climate change policies include gender and women. The focus on women is deliberate given women’s greater vulnerability to climate change impacts than men. The research analysis used a framework modified from the United Nations Environment Programme’s (2011) recommendations on women’s needs in climate change. The main finding is that although the national policies reviewed are in their infancy, with the oldest, the National Policy on Climate Change for Namibia having been put in place only in 2010, the mainstreaming of women’s needs in climate change has gained momentum. However, the empowerment of women by climate change policy varies significantly from country to country.

Keywords: women, gender, mainstreaming, climate change policy, East and Southern Africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2014

The Role of Gender Norms in Access to Agricultural Training in Chikwawa and Phalombe, Malawi

Citation:

Mudege, Netsayi N., Norita Mdege, Putri E. Abidin, and Sandra Bhatasara. 2017. “The Role of Gender Norms in Access to Agricultural Training in Chikwawa and Phalombe, Malawi.” Gender, Place & Culture 24 (12): 1689-710.

Authors: Netsayi N. Mudege, Norita Mdege, Putri E. Abidin, Sandra Bhatasara

Abstract:

Based on qualitative research conducted in Chikwawa and Phalombe in Malawi, this article discusses how gender relations shape men and women’s access to and participation in agricultural training. It also examines how men and women justify or challenge gender inequalities in relation to access to agricultural information and knowledge. Data on gender and recruitment to and participation in training, barriers to training and access to information as well as farmer to farmer extension models were collected and analysed. A gender relations approach, focusing on power and inequality, was used to analyse the data. The data shows that the perception of men as household heads and women as carers or helpers who are also illiterate and ignorant often has implications on women’s ability to access training and information. Negative stereotypical perceptions about women by their husbands and extension workers militate against women’s access to training and information. Institutional biases within extension systems reproduce gender inequality by reinforcing stereotypical gender norms. Extension officers should be targeted with training on gender responsive adult learning methodologies and gender awareness to help them be more inclusive and sensitive to women’s needs.

Keywords: agriculture, extension, gender, gender relations, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2017

How Important Is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance?: A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa

Citation:

Hawkins, Stephanie, Nicole Lefore, Saniso Sakuringwa, and Matshidiso Thathana. 2019. “How Important Is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance?: A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa.” wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water 6 (1): 40-67.

Authors: Stephanie Hawkins, Nicole Lefore, Saniso Sakuringwa, Matshidiso Thathana

Abstract:

In semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa, groundwater is a critical resource for rural livelihoods given the pressures on surface water and lack of piped delivery. Socially defined gen- der roles in water management often create disparities and inequalities regarding water access, use, and labour, making consideration of gender issues an important component of groundwater governance. Resources shared across borders raises the question about the relevance of and approach to gender in transboundary ground- water governance. This paper explores this question in light of the lack of gender responsive governance arrangements over transboundary groundwater resources. It uses qualitative methodologies to examine the need for institutional approaches to improve gender sensitivity and equality in transboundary groundwater cooperation. The paper seeks to assess how legal instruments on gender and transboundary water resources influence equality for women and men in terms of: reach of water access, benefits of water use, and empowerment. First, it analyses the level of gender sensi- tivity in international and regional instruments that provide the governance frame- work for transboundary groundwater. It then proposes a new integrated framework for analysis, which it applies to the case study of the Ramotswa aquifer – a resource shared between South Africa and Botswana. The paper examines the extent to which international instruments, national law and local programmes and projects related to transboundary groundwater governance correspond with the realities on the ground. The results uncover constraints in both countries regarding equal participation in decision-making, deficiencies in meeting gendered needs and ensuring benefits, and disempowering legal frameworks. The paper concludes with entry points that link transboundary water governance and local level water management, offering potential indicators that can inform governance and programming, and enable improved moni- toring of the implementation of gender responsiveness at multiple levels.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Botswana, South Africa

Year: 2019

The Gender Dimensions of Water Poverty: Exploring Water Shortages in Chitungwiza

Citation:

Gambe, Tazviona Richman. 2019. “The Gender Dimensions of Water Poverty: Exploring Water Shortages in Chitungwiza.” Journal of Poverty 23 (2): 105–22.

Author: Tazviona Richman Gambe

Abstract:

Water poverty in Chitungwiza has become the poverty of mainly women. Yet the effects of water poverty on the economic well-being of women remain little understood at least empirically. This article seeks to explore the gender implications of water poverty in Chitungwiza and strategies that can be adopted to sever the gender-water poverty nexus. The study revealed that acute water shortages in Chitungwiza have impoverished mainly women as they are the managers of water at household level. Thus, there is need to balance the gender composition of water managers at all levels so that water-management decisions are gender sensitive.

Keywords: gender roles, gender sensitive, piped water supply, water management, water planning

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Hunger for Farmland among Female Farmers in Limpopo Province: Bodies, Violence and Land

Citation:

Makhetha, Esther, and Tim Hart. 2018. “Hunger for Farmland among Female Farmers in Limpopo Province: Bodies, Violence and Land.” Agenda 32 (4): 65-77.

Authors: Esther Makhetha, Tim Hart

Abstract:

This article explores intersections between women’s bodies, violence and land amongst female farmers in Limpopo Province, South Africa. We explore how female farmers negotiate access to land through their own agency and resistance on a daily basis by analysing their narratives and experiences in their quest to access and use land for farming. Based largely on ethnographic interviews and observations the article argues that women’s involvement in farming should be considered not only as an economic survival strategy, but also as an indication of how the female farmers express resistance and agency in their pursuit to acquire land for farming. This article contributes to the body of literature that explores the relationship between women’s bodies, violence and access to land but does so by focusing on land redistribution and some of the challenges it poses to women of different backgrounds and degrees of social power and influence. The paper make four recommendations about how the government can improve its focus on female farmers and get to grips with gender mainstreaming and needs.

Keywords: land redistribution, farming, gender mainstreaming, women's bodies, Limpopo Province

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Gender, Feminism and Food Studies

Citation:

Lewis, Desiree. 2015. “Gender, Feminism and Food Studies.” African Security Review 24 (4): 414-29.

Author: Desiree Lewis

Abstract:

Policy research and scholarship on food has rapidly increased in recent decades. The attention to ‘gender’ within this work appears to signal important practical and academic efforts to mainstream gendered understandings of food consumption, distribution and production into expansive conceptualisations of human security. This article argues that the gender-related work on food has wide-ranging and often troubling political and theoretical foundations and implications. Often growing out of knowledge regimes for managing social crises and advancing neo-liberal solutions, much gender and food security work provides limited interventions into mainstream gender-blind work on the nexus of power struggles, food resources and globalisation. A careful analysis of knowledge production about gender and food is therefore crucial to understanding how and why feminist food studies often transcends and challenges dominant forms of scholarship and research on food security. This article’s critical assessment of what food security studies in South Africa has entailed at the regional level and in global terms also focuses on the methodological and theoretical feminist interventions that can stimulate rigorous conceptual, research and practical attention to what has come to be understood as food sovereignty.

Keywords: feminist, food security, food studies, food sovereignty, Western Cape, South Africa

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Globalization, Security, Food Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2015

"People Are Trying to Be Modern": Food Insecurity and the Strategies of the Poor

Citation:

Leahy, Terry, and Debbie Jean Brown. 2016. “‘People Are Trying to Be Modern’: Food Insecurity and the Strategies of the Poor.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (3): 489-510.

Authors: Terry Leahy, Debbie Jean Brown

Abstract:

The failure of rural Africans to heed the message of development projects and improving agricultural practices is widely recognized as a problem in terms of food security and rural development. This study focuses on the situation in one locality of eastern Zambia and adopts a qualitative approach. By looking at local cultural issues a different understanding of the mechanisms of this failure may be attempted. We suggest that food provisioning is constructed in reference to an ideal of modernity in which subsistence production takes a particular (and gendered) relationship to the cash economy. The implication is that subsistence agriculture is conceived as ‘reproduction’ within capitalism rather than as a separate mode of production articulated with capitalism. This ideal of modernity and the associated utopia of food provisioning make it difficult for rural households in Zambia to see sustainable subsistence agriculture as any kind of a way forward. 

Keywords: Zambia, food security, subsistence, gender, peasant

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Food Security, Gender, Households, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2016

Seed Struggles and Food Sovereignty in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2013. “Seed Struggles and Food Sovereignty in Northern Malawi.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 40 (5): 867-97.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

In this paper I use seeds in Malawi as both an analytical lens and an empirical focus of study to examine how food sovereignty is threatened or enhanced in a particular location and time. I argue that while food sovereignty was eroded for smallholders through neoliberal reforms to the agricultural system, community and kin practices help to maintain food sovereignty. The intersection of gender and class dynamics, combined with state policies, however, works to undermine food sovereignty for particular groups in northern Malawi. Historical processes of exclusion, dispossession and exploitation changed the division of labour and reduced time and land for diverse farming systems. State policies reduced knowledge and availability of preferred local varieties. While peasants, particularly women, have considerable knowledge of seed varieties, and seeds continue to be exchanged in agrarian communities, young women, tenant farmers, food insecure younger couples and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-affected families are particularly vulnerable to reduced food sovereignty, in part due to gender inequalities, unequal land distribution and social stigma. New efforts to strengthen food sovereignty need to build on community and kin relations, while addressing social inequalities. Understanding the struggles and relations linked to seeds helps us to understand ways in which food sovereignty is undermined or strengthened.

Keywords: Malawi, food sovereignty, maize, seeds, agrobiodiversity, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2013

Gender Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Household Food Insecurity

Citation:

Kakota, Tasokwa, Dickson Nyariki, David Mkwambisi, and Wambui Kogi-Makau. 2011. “Gender Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Household Food Insecurity.” Climate and Development 3 (4): 298-309.

Authors: Tasokwa Kakota, Dickson Nyariki, David Mkwambisi, Wambui Kogi-Makau

Abstract:

Climate variability presents different challenges for men and for women in their efforts to ensure household food security. However, despite their central role, gender issues have received only cursory attention in adaptation studies. This article looks at causes of gender vulnerability to climate variability and household food insecurity in one sub-Saharan African country: Malawi. Data were collected through a household questionnaire survey, focus group discussions and key informants’ interviews in Chikhwawa and Ntcheu districts, located in the southern and central areas of Malawi. Results revealed that exposure and sensitivity to climate risks vary between men and women; therefore, each gender responds differently to climate risks, with men having more opportunities than women. The results highlight the need for policies and interventions to empower women in the access to resources that can strengthen households’ resilience to climate variability. 

Keywords: adaptation, climate variability, food insecurity, gender, Malawi, vulnerability, africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Gender and Conservation Agriculture in East and Southern Africa: Towards a Research Agenda

Citation:

Farnworth, Cathy Rozel, Frédéric Baudron, Jens A. Andersson, Michael Misiko, Lone Badstue, and Clare M. Stirling. 2016. “Gender and Conservation Agriculture in East and Southern Africa: Towards a Research Agenda.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 14 (2): 142-65.

Authors: Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Frédéric Baudron, Jens A. Andersson, Michael Misiko, Lone Badstue, Clare M. Stirling

Abstract:

It is remarkable that despite wide-ranging, in-depth studies over many years, almost no conservation agriculture (CA) studies consider gender and gender relations as a potential explanatory factor for (low) adoption rates. This is important because CA demands new ways of working with the farm system. Implementation will inevitably involve a reallocation of men’s and women’s resources as well as having an impact upon their ability to realize their gender interests. With respect to intra-household decision-making and the distribution of benefits, CA interventions have implications for labour requirements and labour allocation, investment decisions with respect to mechanization and herbicide use, crop choice, and residue management. CA practice may impact upon the ability of households to source a wide variety of crops, wild plants, and insects and small animals for household nutrition. Gender biases in extension service design can sideline women. This paper examines the limited research to date on the interactions between CA interventions and gender in East and Southern Africa, and, based on the gaps observed, sets out a research agenda. It argues that attention to gender in CA is particularly timely given the increasing interest in CA as a means of adapting to climate change.

Keywords: conservation agriculture, gender, Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2016

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