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Malawi

Whose Feminism(s)? Overseas Partner Organizations’ Perceptions of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Citation:

Rao, Sheila, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2020. “Whose Feminism(s)? Overseas Partner Organizations’ Perceptions of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. International Journal 75 (3): 349–66.

Authors: Sheila Rao, Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, introduced in 2017, is an ambitious and forward-thinking policy focussed on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The emphasis on a feminist vision, however, raises questions about how feminism is defined and interpreted by Canada’s partners in the Global South. In this article, we examine the interpretations of feminism(s) and a feminist foreign policy from the perspective of NGO staff members in East and Southern Africa. The research involved interviews with 45 Global South partner country NGO staff members in three countries (Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi). We consider the partner organization reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy using a transnational feminist lens. Our findings provide insights into future considerations for Canada’s feminist foreign policy priorities, consultations, and programme design. 

Keywords: feminist foreign assistance policy, partnerships, gender equality, Canadian Aid

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Canada, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda

Year: 2020

Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2011. “Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104 (3): 577-93.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article tells the story of two indigenous, drought-tolerant grains, finger millet and sorghum, once grown in northern Malawi. Sorghum essentially disappeared from the landscape, replaced by maize. Finger millet persisted, despite being discouraged by colonial and postcolonial governments, but is now in decline. This case study of these two crops in northern Malawi uses data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, archival documents, and observations. I suggest that sorghum almost disappeared due to a combination of maize promotion, male migration, and pest problems. An upsurge of tobacco production, in part due to neoliberal policies, combined with gender dynamics that favor maize are reducing finger millet production. Drawing on theories of feminist political ecology, resilience, and indigenous knowledge, I argue that agrobiodiversity and related indigenous knowledge are situated in material and gendered practices. Efforts to improve social resilience in these vulnerable regions need to pay attention to processes and the intersectionality of gender, class, and other subjectivities at different scales that produce particular agricultural practices and knowledge in a given place.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este artículo relata la historia de dos granos indígenas adaptados a la sequía, el millo (mijo) perla y el sorgo, que tradicionalmente han sido cultivados en la parte norte de Malawi. El sorgo esencialmente desapareció del paisaje, remplazado por el maíz. El millo perla persistió, pese a que su cultivo fue desestimulado por los gobiernos colonial y poscolonial, pero ahora está en declive. El estudio de caso sobre estas dos cosechas en el norte de aquel país utiliza datos generados en entrevistas a profundidad, grupos focales, documentos de archivo y observaciones de campo. Pienso que el sorgo casi desapareció debido a las campañas de promoción del maíz, combinadas con otros factores como la migración de varones y problemas de plagas. En lo que se refiere al millo perla, su producción se ha reducido por la competencia de la reactivación de cultivos de tabaco, debida en parte a políticas neoliberales, combinado todo esto con dinámicas de género que favorecen el cultivo del maíz. A partir de teorías de ecología política feminista, resiliencia y conocimiento indígena, arguyo que la agro-biodiversidad y el conocimiento indígena pertinente son factores situacionales en las prácticas de materialidad y género. Los esfuerzos para mejorar la resiliencia social en estas regiones vulnerables deben poner atención sobre los procesos y la interseccionalidad de género, clase y otras subjetividades, a diferentes escalas, que producen prácticas agrícolas particulares y conocimiento en un lugar dado.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, indigenous knowledge, Malawi, resilience, ecología política feminista, conocimiento indígena, resiliencia

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation

Citation:

Kang, Munsu, Benjamin Schwab, and Jisang Yu. 2020. “Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation”. World Development 125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104669.

Authors: Munsu Kang, Benjamin Schwab, Jisang Yu

Abstract:

Recent research has increased interest in the intersection of land tenure and gender roles in African agriculture. While formalization of land ownership has been found to have important gender impacts, time use and management remain critical to both the productivity of agricultural operations as well as the welfare of household members. Thus, it is important to understand how gender intersects with the relationship between the ownership and operation of plots. We use plot level data from nationally representative household surveys in Ethiopia and Malawi to characterize the structure (sole male; sole female; or joint) and domain (plot ownership; plot management; or output management) of control over land in each household. We then answer the following research questions: 1) are there any gender gaps in the degrees of the concordance among different domains of controls? and 2) how does the structure of ownership and managerial rights affect labor allocations on plots? We find that for both males and females, sole managerial rights are most likely to occur in plots owned exclusively by either gender. However, on jointly owned plots, instances of sole planting rights are almost exclusively male. We also find that while females supply more of their own labor to plots they control, the pattern of own-gender bias in labor allocation varies with each structure-domain combination. The heterogeneity suggests gender inequality analyses related to land rights are sensitive to the choice of domain of control. 

Keywords: land rights, gender equality, farm labor, LSMS, Ethiopia, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Malawi

Year: 2020

Equal Inheritance Is Not Always Advantageous for Women: A Discussion on Gender, Customary Law, and Access to Land for Women in Rural Malawi

Citation:

Tschirhart, Naomi, Lucky Kabanga, and Sue Nichols. 2018. “Equal Inheritance Is Not Always Advantageous for Women: A Discussion on Gender, Customary Law, and Access to Land for Women in Rural Malawi.” Working Paper 310, Gender, Development, and Globalization Program, Center for Gender in Global Context, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

Authors: Naomi Tschirhart, Lucky Kabanga, Sue Nichols

Abstract:

Malawi has both matrilineal and patrilineal kinship systems. In Malawi's customary areas, women's access to land is closely related to kinship and residency. This paper examines the intersection of gender equality, the 2002 National Land Policy, and customary land inheritance practices as they relate to women's access to land in rural Malawi. Malawi's 2002 National Land Policy proposed equal inheritance of land for men and women. We conducted fieldwork with women and key informants to determine whether people wanted their children to be able to inherit equally. Respondents reported divided views on the desirability of equal inheritance, but all agreed that equal inheritance for women and men is not feasible in practice. Furthermore, based on inheritance norms in matrilineal communities, we suggest that equal inheritance is not always advantageous for women.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2018

The Convergence of HIV/AIDS and Customary Tenure on Women’s Access to Land in Rural Malawi

Citation:

Tschirhart, Naomi, Lucky Kabanga, and Sue Nichols. 2015. “The Convergence of HIV/AIDS and Customary Tenure on Women’s Access to Land in Rural Malawi.” SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS 12 (1): 134-46.

Authors: Naomi Tschirhart, Lucky Kabanga, Sue Nichols

Abstract:

This paper examines the convergence of HIV/AIDS and the social processes through which women access customary land in rural Malawi. Data were collected from focus group discussions with women in patrilineal and matrilineal communities. Women’s land tenure is primarily determined through kinship group membership, customary inheritance practices and location of residence. In patrilineal communities, land is inherited through the male lineage and women access land through relationships with male members who are the rightful heirs. Conversely in matrilineal matrilocal communities, women as daughters directly inherit the land. This research found that in patrilineal communities, HIV/AIDS, gendered inequalities embedded in customary inheritance practices and resource shortages combine to affect women’s access to land. HIV/AIDS may cause the termination of a woman’s relationship with the access individual due to stigma or the individual’s death. Termination of such relationships increases tenure insecurity for women accessing land in a community where they do not have inheritance rights. In contrast to the patrilineal patrilocal experience, research on matrilineal matrilocal communities demonstrates that where women are the inheritors of the land and have robust land tenure rights, they are not at risk of losing their access to land due to HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, land rights, women, customary, matrilineal, patrilineal

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Health, HIV/AIDS, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2015

'The Family Farms Together, the Decisions, However Are Made by the Man' — Matrilineal Land Tenure Systems, Welfare and Decision Making in Rural Malawi

Citation:

Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson, Ellen Hillbom, Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu, Peter Mvula, and Göran Djurfeldt. 2018. “‘The Family Farms Together, the Decisions, However Are Made by the Man’ — Matrilineal Land Tenure Systems, Welfare and Decision Making in Rural Malawi.” Land Use Policy 70: 601–10.

Authors: Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, Ellen Hillbom, Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu, Peter Mvula, Göran Djurfeldt

Abstract:

Improved female control over land is often put forth as a means of raising the productivity of smallholder agriculture, enhancing female bargaining power and raising women’s incomes. The article uses some quantitative but primarily qualitative data on access to income and decision making, to analyse gender patterns related to welfare, incomes and control over resources in a context where women’s rights to land are particularly strong, that is in a matrilineal and uxorilocal setting. Women’s land rights are contextualized in relation to labour intensive, low productive smallholder systems and the paper assesses to what extent female control over land affects welfare outcomes, decision making and intra-household control over incomes and labour. While we find that female control over land does affect intra household relations it is clear that land reform is not enough to ensure gender equality. For any land use policy reform to have a profound affect it would have to also take into account control over other productive resources, e.g. labour, as well as the wider institutional and political context.

Keywords: land tenure, gender, agriculture, smallholders, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2018

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

‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in Community Water Governance: a Feminist Political Ecology of Gender and Participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations

Citation:

Adams, Ellis Adjei, Luke Juran, and Idowu Ajibade. 2018. “‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in Community Water Governance: a Feminist Political Ecology of Gender and Participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations.” Geoforum. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.06.016

Authors: Ellis Adjei Adams, Luke Juran, Idowu Ajibade

Abstract:

Much of the literature on gender dimensions of community-based water governance focuses on irrigation systems in rural areas. Largely overlooked is how gender dynamics influence participation in community-based urban water governance systems. To address this gap, we use insights from Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) to examine whether and how community-based governance of drinking water in an urban context leads to (in) equitable gender participation and decision making. Using household surveys (n = 415), key informant interviews (n = 19), focus-group discussions (n = 14), we explore gender dynamics and power relations underpinning participation, decision making processes, and employment and benefit sharing arrangements among Water User Associations (WUAs) in the urban informal settlements of Lilongwe, Malawi. We find that WUAs do not guarantee equitable gender participation. Rather, inequitable participation is simply reified through: (1) gendered representation in WUA structures; (2) socio-cultural practices and women’s self-exclusion; and (3) community micro-politics and power relations. Our findings contradict the notion that community-based governance of water leads to equitable participation and empowerment of women. The policy implications are that without systematic efforts to incorporate women’s needs, interests, and voices, so-called participatory approaches to water governance will only serve to suppress women’s agency and reinforce existing gender-based inequalities. Future work will explore the pathways to women’s leadership in the WUAs and interrogate how women on the board and executive committees navigate their way up the hierarchy, their experiences in a male-dominated water governance scheme and their recommendations for how WUAs can improve women’s participation.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, water users associations, gender, participation, urban water governance, Malawi

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2018

From Under Their Feet - Land Grab Impacts on Rural Women in African Countries

Citation:

Tandon, Nidhi. 2010. From Under Their Feet - Land Grab Impacts on Rural Women in African Countries. Toronto, Canada: Networked Intelligence for Development. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.1330.1928.

Author: Nidhi Tandon

Annotation:

Summary:
"Land rights are one part of a complex set of problems and cannot be the sole focus to the exclusion of other factors that threaten not only women’s way of life but also the farming legacy that they will leave for future generations. A good part of women’s needs and empowerment revolve around information and knowledge. This includes providing women with complete and timely information; enabling them to assess (and negotiate) the real value of their land; valuing their knowledge of land and food management; supporting their food crop and land stewardship priorities; bringing the worlds of permaculture and organic farming in solidarity with food sovereignty movements and local peasant farming systems; and enabling women to take a stand and make a choice" (Tandon 2010, 6).
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction to Concepts, Contexts and Realities
 
2. The Land Market and Implications for Farmers
 
3. Evidence and Findings from Farmland Frontiers
 
4. What is the Way Forward... and How? Some Thoughts

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Land Grabbing Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia

Year: 2010

Understanding Gender Dimensions of Climate-Smart Agriculture Adoption in Disaster-Prone Smallholder Farming Communities in Malawi and Zambia

Citation:

Khoza, Sizwile, Dewald Van Niekerk, and Livhuwani David Nemakonde. 2019. "Understanding Gender Dimensions of Climate-Smart Agriculture Adoption in Disaster-Prone Smallholder Farming Communities in Malawi and Zambia." Disaster Prevention and Management 28 (5): 530-47.

Authors: Sizwile Khoza, Dewald Van Niekerk, Livhuwani David Nemakonde

Abstract:

Purpose – Through the application of traditional and contemporary feminist theories in gender mainstreaming, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to emergent debate on gender dimensions in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) adoption by smallholder farmers in disaster-prone regions. This is important to ensure that CSA strategies are tailored to farmer-specific gender equality goals. 
 
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory-sequential mixed methods research design which is qualitatively biased was applied. Key informant interviews and farmer focus group discussions in two study sites formed initial qualitative phase whose findings were explored in a quantitative cross-sectional household survey. 
 
Findings – Findings shared in this paper indicate the predominant application of traditional gender mainstreaming approaches in CSA focusing on parochial gender dichotomy. Qualitative findings highlight perceptions that western gender approaches are not fully applicable to local contexts and realities, with gender mainstreaming in CSA seemingly to fulfil donor requirements, and ignorant of the heterogeneous nature of social groups. Quantitative findings establish that married men are majority adopters and nonadopters of CSA, while dis-adopters are predominantly de jure female household heads. The latter are more likely to adopt CSA than married women whose main role in CSA is implementers of spouse’s decisions. Access to education, intra-household power relations, productive asset and land ownership are socio-cultural dynamics shaping farmer profiles. 
 
Originality/value – By incorporating African feminisms and intersectionality in CSA, value of this study lies in recommending gender policy reforms incorporating local gender contexts within the African socio-cultural milieu. This paper accentuates potential benefits of innovative blend of both contemporary and classic gender mainstreaming approaches in CSA research, practice and technology development in disaster-prone regions.

Keywords: agriculture, climate change adaptation, DRR, climate-smart agriculture adoption, gender and DRRM, gender policy

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi, Zambia

Year: 2019

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