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South Africa

Women Growing Livelihoods through Food Security: Inanda’s Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative

Citation:

Tshishonga, Ndwakhulu. 2016. “Women Growing Livelihoods through Food Security: Inanda’s Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative.” Agenda 30 (4): 62-73.

Author: Ndwakhulu Tshishonga

Abstract:

This article explores the successes and challenges women face in their attempt to feed and take care of their families in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, and uses primary and secondary sources. Due to climate change and policy fragmentation household food security and nutrition remain a perpetual challenge, especially for women eking out a living on the periphery. One of the premises that this paper is based on is the assumption that women are prime producers of their communities’ food, which is mainly for food security. Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative (IYSC) could be seen as an initiative that entrenches this role, adding to the burden of women’s care work and ‘subordination’. Contradictorily, the initiative offers women the opportunity to transform this role, empowering them and enabling them to take control of their lives in many ways. Issues pertaining to food security and insecurity are intertwined with women’s struggle for land, which mirrors the unfinished business in post-apartheid South Africa. The case of IYSC is used to interrogate opportunities and challenges besetting the efforts of mainly women in Inanda township. The Secondary Co-Operative is an apex co-operative body formed in 2013 and it has four primary co-operatives. This association was formed with the primary purpose of improving the functioning of agricultural co-operatives within the Inanda area in dealing with food insecurity, poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Keywords: food security, women, livelihoods, Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative, agricultural co-operatives

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa

Citation:

Tlhompho, Gaoshebe. 2014. “African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa.” Journal of Human Ecology 48 (1): 83-96.

Author: Gaoshebe Tlhompho

Abstract:

The paper used a participatory and case study research approach to investigate the role of African Indigenous Food Security Strategies for climate change adaptation in Ganyesa Village, South Africa. The study revealed that local people, especially women, have over the years developed local food security strategies for climate change adaptation. These included knowledge of behaviours of living organisms, wind directions, position of stars as early warning indicators of changing weather conditions, selection of appropriate seeds and animal species, mixed cropping, and water harvesting technologies and food preservation techniques such as fermentation and sun drying for food security. These knowledge systems tend to be marginalized in the search for sustainable solutions for food security and climate change. The study recommends their documentation to inform policy, incorporation into educational curriculum. This will also assist in identifying gaps to be improved through interface with other knowledge systems.

Keywords: indigenous knowledge systems, climate change, women, food preservation, early-warning systems, educational curriculum

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Households, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

A Gendered Perspective of Vulnerability to Multiple Stressors, including Climate Change, in the Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa

Citation:

Shackleton, Sheona, Leigh Cobban, and Georgina Cundill. 2014. “A Gendered Perspective of Vulnerability to Multiple Stressors, including Climate Change, in the Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa.” Agenda 28 (3): 73-89.

Authors: Sheona Shackleton, Leigh Cobban, Georgina Cundill

Abstract:

Rapid global environmental change combined with other stressors is increasing the vulnerability of poor people worldwide. In South Africa, HIV/AIDS and climate variability, interacting with other localised risks are having differential impacts across communities, households and individuals. These stressors have the effect of undermining livelihood assets, decreasing adaptive capacity and constraining the ability to respond to new threats such as those expected under a changing climate. This Article considers the gendered implications of multiple stressors on livelihoods drawing on empirical data from a four-year research project in two sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The research was broadly framed within a livelihoods-entitlements approach and methods included a household survey, interviews and focus group discussions. Using data from these sources, this Article explores gender-differentiated vulnerability through an analysis of household livelihoods and assets, perceptions of vulnerability and food security, and the types of responses employed when faced with shocks and stress. Our findings indicate that although women and female-headed households are generally poorer and more at risk than men and male-headed households, in some situations women may be more innovative in their individual and collective responses to stressors and may have more social capital to draw on. Furthermore, men and male-headed households also face specific gender related vulnerabilities. We comment on the need to understand the underlying causes of vulnerability and the heterogeneity that exists at the local level, and consider how such knowledge can be translated into approaches that address vulnerability now and in the future.

Keywords: gender, climate change, multiple stresss, South Africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

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

Citation:

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

Year: 2019

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

Citation:

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

Authors: Esther Makhetha, Tim Hart

Abstract:

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

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

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

Year: 2018

Gender, Feminism and Food Studies

Citation:

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

Author: Desiree Lewis

Abstract:

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

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

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

Year: 2015

The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa

Citation:

Bulled, Nicola. 2016. “The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31 (1): 133–54.

Author: Nicola Bulled

Abstract:

The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013-2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores "water citizenship"-individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water-related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.

Keywords: South Africa, citizenship, emotional distress, rural poor, water insecurity

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Citation:

Meer, Shamim. 1997. “Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” IDS Bulletin 28 (3): 133–44.

Author: Shamim Meer

Abstract:

This article argues that the goals of social justice, poverty alleviation and gender equality within the post‐apartheid government's land reform programme are threatened by government's neo‐liberal macroeconomic framework, by shortcomings in addressing gender and because rural women do not constitute an organised social force. The article outlines the key elements of the land reform programme and points to limitations arising from the market‐based nature of the land reform programme. The article highlights innovative mechanisms within the programme aimed at involving women in land reform. These include the requirements of women's participation in land reform pilot programme structures and of gender equality within group ownership entities – the ‘Community Property Associations’. However, the overall approach is to target women without adequately considering gender power relations. The article suggests that while the state can play a significant role in providing an enabling framework, the key to advancing gender equality is women's organisation.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1997

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