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Malawi

Water is Life: Women's Human Rights in National and Local Water Governance in Southern and Eastern Africa

Citation:

Hellum, Anne, Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Barbara van Koppen, eds. 2015. Water Is Life: Women’s Human Rights in National and Local Water Governance in Southern and Eastern Africa. Weaver Press. 

Authors: Anne Hellum, Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Barbara van Koppen

Abstract:

This book approaches water and sanitation as an African gender and human rights issue. Empirical case studies from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe show how coexisting international, national and local regulations of water and sanitation respond to the ways in which different groups of rural and urban women gain access to water for personal, domestic and livelihood purposes. The authors, who are lawyers, sociologists, political scientists and anthropologists, explore how women cope in contexts where they lack secure rights, and participation in water governance institutions, formal and informal. The research shows how women – as producers of family food - rely on water from multiple sources that are governed by community based norms and institutions which recognize the right to water for livelihood. How these 'common pool water resources' - due to protection gaps in both international and national law - are threatened by large-scale development and commercialization initiatives, facilitated through national permit systems, is a key concern. The studies demonstrate that existing water governance structures lack mechanisms which make them accountable to poor and vulnerable waters users on the ground, most importantly women. Our findings thus underscore the need to intensify measures to hold states accountable, not just in water services provision, but in assuring the basic human right to clean drinking water and sanitation; and also to protect water for livelihoods.

Annotation:

Table of Contents 
 
Part I Introduction
1. The Human Right to Water and Sanitation in a Legal Pluralist Landscape: Perspectives of Southern and Eastern African Women
 
2. Turning the Tide: Engendering the Human Right to Water and Sanitation 
Anne Hellum, Ingunn Ikdahl and Patricia Kameri-Mbote
 
Part II Kenya
3. Human Rights, Gender and Water in Kenya: Law, Prospects and Challenges 
Patricia Kameri-Mbote and Francis Kariuki
 
4. Not so Rosy: Farm Workers’ Human Right to Water in the Lake Naivasha Basin 
Patricia Kameri-Mbote and Edna Odhiambo
 
5. Watered Down: Gender and the Human Right to Water and Reasonable Sanitation in Mathare, Nairobi 
Celestine Nyamu Musembi
 
6. Gender Dimensions of Customary Water Resource Governance: Marakwet Case Study 
Elizabeth Gachenga
 
Part III Malawi 
7. The Political Economy of the Human Right to Water and Women in Malawi 
Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo, Timothy Chirwa, Asiyati Chiweza and Michael Chasukwa
 
8. Women’s Right to Water and Participation in Practice: Insights from Urban Local Water Governance Systems 
Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza, Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo, Michael Chasukwa and Timothy Chirwa
 
9. Primary Actors on the Back Seat: Gender, Human Rights and Rural Water Governance in Malawi – Lessons from Mpemba and Chileka 
 
Part IV Zimbabwe
10. Governance, Gender Equality and the Right to Water and Sanitation in Zimbabwe: Contested Norms and Institutions in an Unstable Economic and Political Terrain 
Anne Hellum, Bill Derman, Ellen Sithole and Elizabeth Rutsate
 
11. Zimbabwe’s Urban Water Crisis and its Implications for Different Women: Emerging Norms and Practices in Harare’s High Density Suburbs 
Anne Hellum, Ellen Sithole, Bill Derman, Lindiwe Mangwanya and Elizabeth Rutsate
 
12. Securing Rural Women’s Land and Water Rights: Lessons from Domboshawa Communal Land 
Anne Hellum, Bill Derman, Lindiwe Mangwanya and Elizabeth Rutsate
 
13. A Hidden Presence: Women Farm Workers Right to Water and Sanitation in the Aftermath of the Fast Track Land Reform 
Elizabeth Rutsate, Bill Derman and Anne Hellum
 
Part V South Africa 
14. Fixing the Leaks in Women’s Human Rights to Water: Lessons from South Africa 
Barbara van Koppen, Bill Derman, Barbara Schreiner, Ebenezer Durojaye and Ngcime Mweso
 
15. Gender-Equality in Statutory Water Law: the Case of Priority General Authorizations in South Africa 
Barbara van Koppen and Barbara Schreiner
 
16. Gender, Rights, and the Politics of Productivity The Case of the Flag Boshielo Irrigation Scheme, South Africa 
Barbara van Koppen, Barbara Tapela and Everisto Mapedza
 

Topics: Class, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Year: 2015

Gendered Incidence and Impacts of Tenure Insecurity on Agricultural Performance in Malawi’s Customary Tenure System

Citation:

Deininger, Klaus, Fang Xia, and Stein Holden. 2019. “Gendered Incidence and Impacts of  Tenure Insecurity on Agricultural Performance in Malawi’s Customary Tenure System.” The Journal of Development Studies 55 (4): 597–619.

Authors: Klaus Deininger, Fang Xia, Stein Holden

Abstract:

Malawi’s recent passage of Land Acts provides an opportunity to clarify different aspects of the country’s land tenure in an integrated way. To assess whether doing so might be economically justified, we explore incidence and impact of tenure insecurity among smallholders. Insecurity is not only widespread, with 22 per cent of land users being concerned about losing their land, but is also associated with a productivity loss of 9 per cent for female operators, equivalent to US$ 11 million per year at the national level, enough to pay for a nation-wide tenure regularisation programme in two to three years

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2019

Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Gender-Biased Land Tenure Systems: An Exploration and Conceptualization of Interactions

Citation:

Fischer, Gundula, Akosua Darkwah, Judith Kamoto, Jessica Kampanje-Phiri, Philip Grabowski, and Ida Djenontin. 2020. “Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Gender-Biased Land Tenure Systems: An Exploration and Conceptualization of Interactions.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. doi:10.1080/14735903.2020.1791425.

Authors: Gundula Fischer, Akosua Darkwah, Judith Kamoto, Jessica Kampanje-Phiri, Philip Grabowski, Ida Djenontin

Abstract:

How does sustainable agricultural intensification’s (SAI) tenet of increased productivity on the same area of land relate to prevailing gender-biased land tenure systems? How can one conceptualize the interactions between intensified land use and control over land, labour, crops and benefits – and how can equitable outcomes be facilitated? These questions (which have not yet received sufficient attention in SAI research) are explored in this study using a qualitative methodology and a gender-transformative approach. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with a total of 248 respondents were conducted in matrilineal and patrilineal intensification contexts in Ghana and Malawi. We develop a conceptual framework that extends Kabeer’s institutional analysis to include gender implications of SAI. Selected cases reveal how farmers and key actors link land use intensification to existing land-related institutions with diverse outcomes. We conclude that SAI interventions should adopt gender-transformative approaches. These facilitate equitable outcomes by supporting consensus-based institutional changes and creating positive synergies between multiple scales.

Keywords: gender, land, sustainable agricultural intensification, Ghana, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Ecological Economics, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land Tenure Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Malawi

Year: 2020

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

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