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Cameroon

Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change

Citation:

Azong, Matilda, Clare J. Kelso, and Kammila Naidoo. 2018. "Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change." African Sociological Review / Revue Africaine de Sociologie 22 (1): 31-53. 

Authors: Matilda Azong, Clare J. Kelso, Kammila Naidoo

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The experience of climate change is filtered through ones existing cultural, social and economic vulnerabilities. The rural poor in natural resource dependent communities in various African countries are likely to be negatively affected by climate change. In many cultures female farmers are considerably worse off than their male counterparts. This study makes use of a life history methodology in order to examine the particular nature of the vulnerability experienced by rural women in Oku in the Bamenda Highlands region of Cameroon. Gender is linked to vulnerability through a number of factors. These include access to and control over land, division of labour, marriage relationships, access to education and responsibility for dependents. Participants’ life histories show how vulnerability in the region develops over time and is both complex and non-linear. Nevertheless, the participants expressed how they used their agency, both individual and collective, in coping with vulnerability. They narrate different adaptation strategies employed including livelihood diversification, and changing farming practices. Understanding the role of gender in shaping women’s vulnerability is useful in informing the design and implementation of adaptation policies. This article makes an empirical contribution to the discussions on the need to engender climate change research, policy and actions.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expérience du changement climatique est filtrée à travers les vulnérabilités culturelles, sociales et économiques existantes. Les ruraux pauvres des communautés dépendantes des ressources naturelles dans divers pays africains sont susceptibles d’être négativement affectés par le changement climatique. Dans de nombreuses cultures, les agricultrices sont nettement moins bien loties que leurs homologues masculins. Cette étude utilise une méthodologie d’histoire de vie afin d’examiner la nature particulière de la vulnérabilité des femmes rurales à Oku dans la région des hautes terres de Bamenda au Cameroun. Le genre est lié à la vulnérabilité à travers un certain nombre de facteurs. Ceux-ci comprennent l’accès et le contrôle de la terre, la division du travail, les relations matrimoniales, l’accès à l’éducation et la responsabilité des personnes à charge. Les histoires de vie des participants montrent comment la vulnérabilité dans la région se développe avec le temps et est à la fois complexe et non linéaire. Néanmoins, les participants ont expliqué comment ils ont utilisé leur agence, individuelle et collective, pour faire face à la vulnérabilité. Ils décrivent différentes stratégies d’adaptation utilisées, y compris la diversification des moyens de subsistance et l’évolution des pratiques agricoles. Comprendre le rôle du genre dans la détermination de la vulnérabilité des femmes est utile pour éclairer la conception et la mise en œuvre des politiques d’adaptation. Cet article apporte une contribution empirique aux discussions sur la nécessité d’engendrer des recherches, des politiques et des actions sur le changement climatique.
 

Keywords: vulnerability, Cameroon, gender, life history, climate, resilience

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2018

Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion

Citation:

Tantoh, Henry, and Tracey Mckay. 2020. "Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion." International Development Planning Review 42 (4): 455-78.

Authors: Henry Tantoh, Tracey Mckay

Abstract:

Many rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa have a long history of community cooperation and local-led development projects harnessed to improve the delivery of water services. This study examined issues of local leadership across various community-built rural water supply (CBRWS) in the Mbengwi, Njinikom and Ndu districts of Northwest Cameroon. The study found that where there was an absence of public water supplies, coupled with high levels of rural poverty, CBRWS projects were able to ensure a water supply lifeline. These projects were effective in communities where local leadership structures were strong, due to their ability to ensure high levels of community participation. Such communities experienced improved welfare and enhanced quality of life. Thus, involving community members in issues concerning their own development, coupled with good local-level leadership are crucial aspects of successful rural development projects. The study also found that, in all cases, local leadership was patriarchal and exclusionary. Labour, cash and in-kind support were donated by the residents but women and youths did not have a voice to participate in decisions relating to the community projects conferred upon them. Thus, community participation in these projects cannot be equated with promoting grassroots or participatory democracy. Rather it reinforced traditional hegemonies.

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2020

Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?

Citation:

Sulle, Emmanuel, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, and Leah Mugehera. 2019. “Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?” Paper presented at Conference on Land Policy in Africa, 2019: Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, Abidjan, November 25-29.

Authors: Emmanuel Sulle, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, Leah Mugehera

Abstract:

This paper assesses the performance of selected countries in implementing the provisions of women’s land rights instruments such as African Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure among others. Field research was carried out in seven African countries whereby, in each country a national researcher in collaboration with the collaborating nongovernmental organisation selected three heterogeneous locations which capture the range of situations under which rural women use land. Based on field research results complemented with desk review, the study finds that while statutory laws to protect women land rights are in place in all studied countries, with some differences and, in some cases with existing loopholes, adherence to these laws at the community level remain inadequate. This is particularly evident in terms of equality of rights to inherit land among men and women. Women experience constant threat from clansmen and relatives of their husbands. As also documented elsewhere, in many African communities (although not all), most land-holding systems are male lineage based, with men playing an important decision-making role. Malawi represents a specific case in this regard, as most land-holdings are based on matrilineal systems, but this still is not an automatic guarantee of women having more decision-making power on land. Based on these findings the paper confirms that while impressive steps to address women’s land rights issues have been taken in recent African policies, law enforceability is yet to receive sufficient political backing, due to widespread patriarchal values, limited financial and human resources and last but not least informal rules of the games that are the same drivers of widespread corruption. Patronage, ‘clientage’, illegality and opacity of land transactions find fertile ground in a patriarchal system. Understanding the status, causes and consequences of the de facto ‘unenforceability’ of constitutional and legal provisions in favour of women might shed a light on much broader challenges like those addressed in this conference. Holistic implementation and reforms that 1) address existing loopholes in land laws and regulation, 2) align other sectoral policies, laws and regulations, and 3) use transformative actions to revert patriarchal values in order to bridge the gender gap in property rights, but also to help creating a fairer environment to contribute combating corruption.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Governance, Constitutions, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Togo

Year: 2019

Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon

Citation:

Ndi, Frankline A. 2019. “Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon.” Development Policy Review 37 (3): 348–66.

Author: Frankline A. Ndi

Abstract:

This article examines the political economic processes and gendered consequences involved in large‐scale land acquisition (LSLA ) in rural South West Cameroon. The study adopts a gender‐disaggregated approach to data collection to understand local perceptions and reactions to LSLA in the region. It shows how traditional cultural prescriptions have combined with contemporary land laws to masculinize power over land to the detriment of women. It argues that although men and women are both affected by LSLA projects, the impacts are much greater for women because what the state considers “empty land” is used by them to secure household food security. Second, it argues that amid societal discrimination over land‐ownership rights, perceived gender differences between men and women appear “rational” in the event of LSLA —men follow their ascribed roles in overt reactions, women being more covert and much less vocal in land‐related contests. New policies that promote rural women's land rights will not only empower them during land struggles, they will also provide communities with greater security to sustain ecologically viable livelihoods.

Keywords: Cameroon, feminist political ecology, gender perceptions and reactions, land grabbing, large-scale land acquisition, rural livelihoods

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

Mainstreaming Gender in the Process of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions for Agro-Investment in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2019. “Mainstreaming Gender in the Process of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions for Agro-Investment in Cameroon.” In Natural Resource Endowment and the Fallacy of Development in Cameroon, 215-42. Mankon, Bamenda: Langaa RPCIG.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Land Grabbing Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

Left out but Not Backing down: Exploring Women’s Voices against Large-Scale Agro-Plantations in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2017. “Left out but Not Backing Down: Exploring Women’s Voices against Large-Scale Agro-Plantations in Cameroon.” Development in Practice 27 (8): 1114–25.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article examines the situation of women around agro-plantations which have taken over their farmlands in the South-West Region of Cameroon through large-scale land acquisitions, and how they have sought popular redress. Based on a survey and focus group discussion among affected women, the findings revealed that women are generally left out of large-scale land acquisition processes. They complained of displacement from their farms and traditional forest resources, which has negative effects on their livelihoods and lifestyles. Despite women’s constrained situation, they have risen collectively against marginalisation, failed promises, and injustices through protests and defiance, achieving some successes in their demands for recognition and compensation.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article examine la situation des femmes dont les terres agricoles ont été acquises par les plantations agro-industrielles lors d'acquisitions foncières à grande échelle dans la Région Sud-Ouest du Cameroun, et comment elles ont cherché à obtenir réparation. Basés sur une enquête et des groupes de discussion thématique, les résultats ont révélé que les femmes concernées sont généralement exclues des processus d'acquisition foncière à grande échelle. Malgré leur situation contraignante, les femmes se sont soulevées collectivement contre leur marginalisation, les promesses non tenues et les injustices subies par elles à travers des manifestations et des actes de défiance, jusqu'à obtenir certains succès pour leurs exigences de reconnaissance et de compensation.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El presente artículo examina la situación de mujeres que habitan en zonas cercanas a plantas agroindustriales que, a través de adquisiciones de tierra a gran escala, han acaparado sus tierras en la región suroeste de Camerún. Asimismo, aborda cómo estas mujeres han solicitado reparaciones. La aplicación de una encuesta y la realización de discusiones entre mujeres afectadas en grupos de enfoque, revelan que éstas generalmente son excluidas de los procesos de adquisición de tierra a gran escala. Debido a ello reclaman haber sido desplazadas de sus parcelas agrícolas y de sus recursos forestales tradicionales, lo que ha producido efectos dañinos tanto en sus medios de vida como en sus estilos de vida. A pesar de la difícil situación que enfrentan, las mujeres se han movilizado colectivamente —a través de protestas y resistencias— en contra de la marginación, las promesas incumplidas y las injusticias, logrando algunos avances en sus demandas de reconocimiento y compensación.

Keywords: Sub- Saharan Africa, gender and diversity, Rights

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2017

Institutional, Economic and Socio-Cultural Factors Accounting for Gender-based Inequalities in Land Title Procurement in Cameroon

Citation:

Njoh, Ambe J., Liora Bigon, Erick O.Ananga and Richard A. Ayuk-Etang. 2018. "Institutional, Economic and Socio-Cultural Factors Accounting for Gender-based Inequalities in Land Title Procurement in Cameroon." Land Use Policy 78: 116-25.

Authors: Ambe J. Njoh, Liora Bigon, Erick O.Ananga, Richard A. Ayuk-Etang

Abstract:

The study identifies and analyzes factors causing women to procure fewer land titles than men in Cameroon. It employs a qualitative approach, and an analytical framework grounded in feminist thought. The identified factors are analyzed under five broad categories as follows: institutional impediments, indigenous culture, received culture, productive and reproductive roles of women, and economic constraints. The analysis ends with a number of policy recommendations prominent among which are the following: drastically reducing the cost, number of agencies and steps involved in the land title application process; employing informal channels of communication to disseminate information on land; and maintaining office hours that take into account the tight schedules of women. The study holds lessons for land reform initiatives not only in Cameroon but other developing countries in general.

Keywords: Cameroon, gender- based inequality, land law, land titling, land policy, land tenure formalization

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2018

Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies

Citation:

Molua, Ernest L. 2011. “Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies.” Sustainability Science 6: 21-35. 

Author: Ernest L. Molua

Abstract:

This paper explores the response to risk of smallholder agricultural producers in the face of variable and changing climate in Cameroon. The low rainfall distribution in some regions of the country and the high inter-seasonal variability of rainfall makes crop production, on which the livelihood of rural inhabitants is based, a risky enterprise. Women farmers in Cameroon are an important group for whom risk aversion influences production outcomes and welfare. This study identifies and analyses the effect of climate risks on the productive activities and the management options of male and female farmers. Women-owned farms, on average, record profits of US$ 620 per hectare to about US$ 935 for crop enterprises across the different agroecological zones. Comparatively static results indicate that increases in climate variability and the uncertainty of climate conditions have an explicit impact on farm profit. The impacts of increased uncertainty in climate and risk aversion are ambiguous depending on the agroecology. Ex-ante and ex-post risk management options reveal that female-owned farms in the northern Sahel savannah zone rely on more sophisticated strategies to reduce the impact of shocks. While adapting to uncertain climate positively influences profit levels, risk measured as the variance of rainfall or temperature per unit variation in profit is significant. This analysis stresses the increased importance of climate risk management as a prelude to the panoply of adaptation choice in response to expected climatic change. 

Keywords: Cameroon, agriculture, female-owned farm, climate, uncertainty, risk aversion

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2011

Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, and Lawrence Fon Fombe. 2012. “Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 260-74.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fon Fombe

Abstract:

Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws against women's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights.

Keywords: women's rights, land tenure, customary practices, discrimination, development

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Conflict, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Governance, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2012

Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist’s Reflections

Citation:

Mougoué, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta. 2018. "Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist's Reflections." Meridians 17 (2): 338-58.

Author: Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué

Abstract:

Utilizing interdisciplinary and multimethodological approaches, this essay explores women’s roles in buttressing the political cohesion of secessionist movements in postcolonial Africa. It argues that African women have supported the actions of male-dominated secessionist movements in order to garner their own social and political power. Using case studies from Anglophone Cameroon, Western Sahara, Cabinda Province (Angola), and Biafra (Nigeria), the essay historicizes and outlines a new analytical framework that explores women’s multifaceted participation in secessionist movements in modern-day Africa.

Keywords: gender, secessionism, Cameroon, Cabinda, Western Sahara, Biafra

Topics: Armed Conflict, Secessionist Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Western Sahara

Year: 2018

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