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Characterizing the Vulnerability of Fishing Households to Climate and Environmental Change: Insights from Ghana

Citation:

Koomson, Daniel, Katherine Sian Davies-Vollum, Debadayita Raha. 2020. “Characterizing the Vulnerability of Fishing Households to Climate and Environmental Change: Insights from Ghana.” Marine Policy 120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104142

 

Authors: Daniel Koomson, Katherine Sian Davies-Vollum, Debadayita Raha

Abstract:

Rural coastal communities in the global south are mostly natural resource-dependent and their livelihoods are therefore vulnerable to the impacts of climate and environmental changes. Efforts to improve their adaptive capacity often prove mal-adaptive due to misunderstanding the dynamics of the unique socioeconomic factors that shape their vulnerability. By integrating theories from climate change vulnerability and the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, this study draws upon household survey data from a fishing community in Ghana to assess the vulnerability of fishing households to climate change and explore how their vulnerability is differentiated within the community. The findings suggest that household incomes in the last decade have reduced significantly, attributable to an interaction of both climatic and non-climatic factors. Analysis of the characteristics of three vulnerability groups derived by quantile clustering showed that the most vulnerable household group is not necessarily women or poorer households as expected. Rather, it is dynamic and includes all gender and economic class categories in varying proportions depending on the success or failure of the fishing season. The findings suggest furthermore that the factors that significantly differentiates vulnerability between households differ, depending on whether households are categorised by economic class, gender of household-head or vulnerability group. Consequently, the study highlights the importance of looking beyond existing social categorizations like gender and economic classes when identifying and prioritizing households for climate change adaptive capacity building.

Keywords: Ghana, fishing, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, climate change

Topics: Class, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Climate Change Perceptions and Challenges to Adaptation among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Ghana: A Gender Analysis

Citation:

Assan, Elsie, Murari Suvedi, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Kenneth Joesph Bansah. 2020. “Climate Change Perceptions and Challenges to Adaptation among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Ghana: A Gender Analysis.” Journal of Arid Environments 182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104247

Authors: Elsie Assan, Murari Suvedi, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Kenneth Joseph Bansah

Abstract:

Gender-sensitive climate change adaptation strategies can improve gender equality and women’s development in agrarian communities. This study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods (focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and household surveys) to explore the perspectives of men and women on climate change, including climate change impacts on their farming activities and household well-being, and challenges faced in mitigating climate change impacts. The empirical data showed similarities in climate change perceptions between men and women, and rising temperatures, shortened cropping season, and increasing erratic rainfall as the main climatic stressors. Lack of money and inadequate access to labor among women and inadequate access to extension and old age/poor health among men were the major constraints to mitigating climate change impacts. Integrating gender needs in climate change adaptation planning and intervention development can help build resilient farm households. 

Keywords: climate change perceptions, gender inequality, agriculture, food security

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Jeil, Emmanuel Bintaayi, Kabila Abass, and John Kuumuori Ganle. 2020. “‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana.” Local Environment 25 (4): 320-35.

Authors: Emmanuel Bintaayi Jeil, Kabila Abass, John Kuumuori Ganle

Abstract:

Water shortages may present different and diverse implications for gender subgroups particularly in low-income settings. Yet, little research has documented the gendered livelihood implications of water shortages in Ghana. Based on a cross-sectional mixed method research involving a survey of 250 household heads and complemented with a qualitative study of 86 participants, the paper examines the differential effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli District of Northern Ghana. Our findings suggest that the livelihood effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli area are gendered, with females being disproportionately affected as compared to males. These differential effects are often framed by both gender role differentiation and inequities in access to vital productive resources and critical assets such as bicycles, tricycles and motor bikes. These findings highlight not only the need for local government and non-governmental organisations to step up efforts in water provision, but also to recognise the gendered effects of water shortages in Tatale-Sanguli District. Key to policy is also to ensure that programmatic interventions during water shortages take account of the likely gendered effects and differentiated burdens.

Keywords: gender, livelihood, water supply, Northern Ghana, sporadic

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict

Citation:

McGadney-Douglass, Brenda Faye, and William K. Ahadzie. 2008. “Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict.” Affilia 23 (4): 324–37.

Authors: Brenda Faye McGadney-Douglass, William K. Ahadzie

Abstract:

This article presents the findings of field research in Ghana in 2002 about internal displacement stemming from multiethnic violence in northern Ghana in 1994, known as the “Guinea Fowl War.” Indigenous, gender-specific knowledge from displaced Ghanaian women is presented in the context of feminist perspectives on the consequences of regional wars on noncombatants. The research generated indigenous material for social work education about interethnic peace building and conflict resolution. The discussion includes first-person responses about warning signs, origins of conflict, immediate and long-term responses, social consequences, and an integration of findings with feminist perspectives on conflict resolution and policies that are designed to aid internally displaced women.

Keywords: Africa, ethnic conflict, feminist social work, internally displaced women, social work education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2008

A Stronger Voice for Women in Local Land Governance: Effective Approaches in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal

Citation:

Sutz, Philippine, Amaelle Seigneret, Mary Richard, Patricia Blankson Akapko, Fati Alhassan, and Mamadou Fall. 2019. A Stronger Voice for Women in Local Land Governance: Effective Approaches in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal. London: International Institute for Environment and Development. 

Authors: Philippine Sutz, Amaelle Seigneret, Mary Richard, Patricia Blankson Akapko, Fati Alhassan, Mamadou Fall

Abstract:

Pressures on land have been on the rise over the past two decades across subSaharan Africa, notably due to increasing commercial interests fuelled by global demand for agricultural commodities. In Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal, such pressures have exacerbated tenure insecurity for rural populations and resulted in numerous cases of dispossession and displacement.

In many cases, rural livelihoods are being undermined: increased competition and reduced access to land impact communities’ economic development, sometimes threatening food security, and bear significant impacts on wellbeing and sociocultural identities. Communities with fragile and exclusionary governance structures are more likely to lose out. Although important progress has been made in terms of legal empowerment – including women’s empowerment –, local land governance systems across the three countries studied remain weak and gender-discriminatory.

Vulnerable members – in particular women – often hold little to no control over land and are significantly under-represented in decision-making processes, although situations can vary across areas. As a result, they tend to be more severely affected by the impacts of commercial pressures on land.

This highlights a need to address exclusion and gender-discrimination in local level governance structures. The rationale underlining this idea is that increasing social cohesion and making decision-making arrangements more participative and gender-equitable will strengthen a community’s capacity to collectively discuss and deliberate on land-related matters.

This report focuses on initiatives that have been taking place in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal since 2016, and that aim to reinforce governance structures to make them inclusive and gender-inclusive in response to the challenges aforementioned. The approaches they developed aim to support women in entering the political space and participate meaningfully in land governance. In Tanzania, where village authorities play a key role in local land governance, the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) has been working with village councils across several districts to support the adoption of gender-sensitive village bylaws promoting more inclusive and participative land governance.

In Ghana, the Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT) and the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation (GSF) have overseen the establishment of local, gender sensitive governance committees in nine communities. These advise traditional authorities in land-related decision-making processes, reflecting a local context where customs play a key role in land management.

In Senegal where customary land tenure has been abolished and land management has been devolved to the municipal level, Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique (IED Afrique) has piloted the reform of a local government body responsible for land management. The aim is to promote the inclusion and participation of women and the adoption of a local land charter.

The report presents each initiative and associated outcomes and lessons, and then reflects on their broader implications for the future of work on gender and land rights.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania

Year: 2019

Recovering Bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Gender Dimensions, Lessons and Challenges

Citation:

Njenga, Mary, and Ruth Mendum, eds. 2018. Recovering Bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Gender Dimensions, Lessons and Challenges. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute.

Authors: Mary Njenga, Ruth Mendum

Abstract:

There is a strong link between gender and energy in view of food preparation and the acquisition of fuel, especially in rural areas. This is demonstrated in a range of case studies from East and West Africa, where biochar, human waste and other waste resources have been used to produce briquettes or biogas as additional high-quality fuel sources. The synthesis of the cases concludes that resource recovery and reuse for energy offers an alternative to conventional centralized grid projects which, while attractive to investors and large-scale enterprises, do not necessarily provide job opportunities for marginalized communities. Reusing locally available waste materials for energy production and as soil ameliorant (in the case of biochar) in small enterprises allows women and youth who lack business capital to begin modest, locally viable businesses. The case studies offer concrete examples of small-scale solutions to energy poverty that can make a significant difference to the lives of women and their communities.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Gender and Energy and the Rationale for Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) for Energy

Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

2. Human Waste-to-fuel Briquettes as a Sanitation and Energy Solution for Refugee Camps and Informal Urban Settlements
Tyler Karahalios, Catherine Berner and Mary Njenga

3. The Impact of Gendered Roles in the Briquette Production and Supply Chain: Lessons Learned from Green Heat Ltd, Uganda
Gabriel Okello, Vianney Tumwesige, Ronald Angura, Daphne Nasige, Dorothy Kyomugisha and Mary Njenga

4. Adoption and Economic Impact of Briquettes as Cooking Fuel: The Case of Women Fish Smokers in Ghana
Solomie Gebrezgabher, Sena Amewu and Mary Njenga

5. Biogas as a Smart Investment for Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Enhancement
Judith Libaisi and Mary Njenga

6. An Assessment of the Business Environment for Waste-to-energy Enterprises and How it Affects Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya
Solomie Gebrezgabher, Avinandan Taron, Jack Odero and Mary Njenga

7. Gender and Improvement of Cooking Systems with Biochar-producing Gasifier Stoves
James K. Gitau, Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

8. Women in Energy: Perspectives on Engaging Women Across the Energy Value Chain: The Case of wPOWER
Ruchi Soni, Wanjira Mathai, Linda Davis and Mary Njenga

9. Gender as Key in Community Participation
Megan Romania, Mary Njenga and Ruth Mendum

10. Challenges and Solutions for Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Integration in Research and Development
Ruth Mendum, Ana Maria Paez and Mary Njenga

11. Take-home Messages on Gender and Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) for Energy
Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

Topics: Age, Youth, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda

Year: 2018

Energy Use and Enterprise Performance in Ghana: How Does Gender Matter?

Citation:

Pueyo, Ana, Simon Bawakyillenuo, and Marco Carreras. 2020. “Energy Use and Enterprise Performance in Ghana: How Does Gender Matter?” The European Journal of Development Research. doi:10.1057/s41287-020-00273-0.

Authors: Ana Pueyo, Simon Bawakyillenuo, Marco Carreras

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The potential impact of electricity use on enterprise performance has a gender dimension that has been overlooked by the energy and development literature. This omission disregards the evidence of a gendered division of labour and the different energy consumption patterns of different productive activities. To address the gaps in the literature, this paper analyses an enterprise development programme that jointly provides improved electricity supply, business services and enterprise clustering in Ghana. The paper aims to understand: the gender awareness of the intervention; the different energy use patterns in men and women’s enterprises; the different benefits men and women obtain from the productive use of energy; and the reasons behind the differences observed. We adopt a multi-methods approach combining gender differentiated firm level data from 400 microenterprises, with in-depth semi-structured interviews to enterprise owners and employees, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. The results, which are specific to the research region, show clearly differentiated energy use patterns in enterprises owned by men and women. Men’s enterprises display higher electricity consumption, while women dominate the use of cooking fuels, mainly charcoal. The use of electricity shows a positive correlation with business profits, regardless of the owner’s gender, which is higher for enterprises owned by women. The main reasons for women’s lower electricity consumption are: the gendered division of labour, which limits women’s economic activity to a narrow number of sectors and to smaller scale operations; the lower value of women’s work which creates disincentives to mechanisation; social norms determining the types of jobs men and women can do; and women’s lower access to starting capital. We conclude that, in the absence of gender considerations, interventions for the promotion of productive uses of energy are likely to target electricity intensive activities dominated by men. We finalise by offering policy suggestions to improve the gender equity of these interventions.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’impact potentiel de la consommation d’électricité sur la performance des entreprises a une dimension de genre qui a été négligée dans la littérature sur l’énergie et le développement. Cette omission ne tient pas compte des preuves d’une division sexuelle du travail et des différents modes de consommation d’énergie selon les différentes activités productives. Pour combler les lacunes de la littérature, cet article analyse un programme de développement des entreprises qui fournit conjointement un meilleur approvisionnement en électricité, des services aux entreprises et permet le regroupement d’entreprises au Ghana. Le document cherche à comprendre : la prise en compte du genre dans le cadre de l’intervention; les différents modes de consommation d’énergie dans les entreprises appartenant à des hommes et dans celles appartenant à des femmes; les différents avantages que les hommes et les femmes tirent de l’utilisation productive de l’énergie; et les raisons qui expliquent les différences constatées. Nous adoptons des méthodes mixtes de recherche, combinant les données d’entreprise sexo-spécifiques de 400 micro-entreprises, avec des entretiens semi-directifs et d’autres approfondis avec des patrons d’entreprise et des employés, des entretiens avec des informateurs clés et des discussions de groupe. Les résultats sont spécifiques à la région de la recherche et montrent des tendances de consommation d’énergie clairement distinctes entre les entreprises appartenant à des hommes et celles appartenant à des femmes. Les entreprises appartenant à des hommes ont une consommation d’électricité plus élevée, tandis que les femmes utilisent essentiellement des combustibles de cuisson, principalement le charbon de bois. Il existe une corrélation positive entre l’utilisation de l’électricité et les bénéfices des entreprises, quel que soit le sexe du propriétaire, et cette corrélation est plus forte pour les entreprises appartenant à des femmes. Les principales raisons pour lesquelles les femmes consomment moins d’électricité sont les suivantes: la division sexuelle du travail, qui cantonne l’activité économique des femmes à quelques secteurs seulement et à des opérations à plus petite échelle; la valeur plus faible du travail des femmes, qui les dissuade procéder à la mécanisation; les normes sociales, qui déterminent les types d’emplois que les hommes et les femmes peuvent faire; et un accès réduit des femmes à un capital de départ. Nous concluons qu’en l’absence de prise en compte du genre, les interventions pour la promotion d’une utilisation productive de l’énergie sont susceptibles de cibler les activités à forte intensité électrique dominées par les hommes. Enfin, nous faisons des suggestions en termes de politiques publiques pour améliorer l’équité entre les sexes dans le cadre de ces interventions.

Keywords: energy, productive uses, enterprise, gender, Ghana

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Citation:

Valodia, Imraan and Caren Grown. 2010. Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries. New York: Routledge; Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

Authors: Imraan Valodia, Caren Grown

Annotation:

Summary:
Around the world, there are concerns that many tax codes are biased against women, and that contemporary tax reforms tend to increase the incidence of taxation on the poorest women while failing to generate enough revenue to fund the programs needed to improve these women’s lives. Because taxes are the key source of revenue governments themselves raise, understanding the nature and composition of taxation and current tax reform efforts is key to reducing poverty, providing sufficient revenue for public expenditure, and achieving social justice. This book presents original research on the gender dimensions of personal income taxes, value-added excise and fuel taxes in Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. It will be of interest to postgraduates and researchers studying public finance, international economics, development studies, gender studies, and international relations, among other disciplines. (Summary from International Development Research Centre)

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Poverty, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America

Year: 2010

Visualizing Politics: A Feminist Political Ecology and Participatory GIS Approach to Understanding Smallholder Farming, Climate Change Vulnerability, and Seed Bank Failures in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Nyantaki-Frimpong, Hanson. 2019. “Visualizing Politics: A Feminist Political Ecology and Participatory GIS Approach to Understanding Smallholder Farming, Climate Change Vulnerability, and Seed Bank Failures in Northern Ghana.” Geoforum 105: 109-21.

Author: Hanson Nyantaki-Frimpong

Abstract:

Over the past three decades, seeds banks have emerged as a major strategy for building seed systems resilience to climate change. Often initiated and funded by non-governmental organizations, seeds banks have grown prolifically, but questions remain concerning their long-term sustainability. Despite their precipitous rise, and effectives during initial years, many seed banks cut back on activities or stop altogether once external NGO funding is withdrawn. This rise and fall of seed banks raise three questions worthy of examination: (1) What factors shape the sustainability of community seed banks? (2) Do community seed banks function as they are designed to be? (3) How well do seed banks target farmers based upon true underlying need? Drawing upon insights from feminist political ecology (FPE) and Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS), this paper examines these questions with data collected from drought-prone northern Ghana. The empirical research includes participant-observations; 144 in-depth interviews; participatory geospatial data analysis; gender-disaggregated data validation workshops; and analyses of seed bank inventory, lending, and payment records. Contrary to previous work emphasizing the role of climate variability and crop failure, this paper highlights the centrality of rural politics in the sustainability of seed banks. Specifically, the findings show that the lack of respect for indigenous knowledge, pseudo seed borrowing, and local elite capture, all work together to undermine the sustainability of seed banks. When seed banks do not meet farmers’ needs, the paper also demonstrates how farmers covertly resist such projects. Finally, the paper shows how through a repertoire of gender politics, village men undermine seed banks’ vision of ensuring equitable and democratic access to seeds. Overall, the paper contributes to existing research by demonstrating how FPE and PGIS could be used in parallel to permit a more rigorous testing of claims of village and gender politics on the ground.

Keywords: seed banks, smallholder agriculture, climate vulnerability, feminist political ecology, participatory GIS, Ghana

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, NGOs Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2019

Combining Feminist Political Ecology and Participatory Diagramming to Study Climate Information Service Delivery and Knowledge Flows among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Nyantaki-Frimpong, Hanson. 2019. “Combining Feminist Political Ecology and Participatory Diagramming to Study Climate Information Service Delivery and Knowledge Flows among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana.” Applied Geography 112: 1-17.

Author: Hanson Nyantaki-Frimpong

Abstract:

Using innovative diagramming and a feminist political ecology (FPE) approach, this paper examines gender, power, and equity considerations in the delivery of climate information service (CIS) to smallholder farmers. Based upon a multi-method triangulation fieldwork involving a survey (n = 998), participatory listing and scoring activities (n = 82), and network diagramming (n = 180), the paper illuminates several structural barriers to acquiring CIS. These barriers include gender norms and expectations, patriarchal values, time poverty, and the format in which technical climate forecasts are presented to illiterate farmers. Another key finding is the multiple subject positions beyond gender within which women are embedded, such as the intersection of seniority, religion, class, and positions within households, that further reconfigure access to CIS. In addition to contributing to emerging intersectional research in FPE, the paper proposes innovative ways of studying household relations and politics. More specifically, it illustrates how feminist political ecologists could deploy participatory network diagramming to provide a nuanced, powerful, and graphic account of subtle politics at the household scale.

Keywords: climate information service, smallholder farmers, gender, participatory diagramming, feminist political ecology, Ghana

Topics: Age, Class, Agriculture, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Intersectionality, Religion Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2019

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