Gender Roles in Agricultural Knowledge in a Land Resettlement Context: The Case of Mupfurudzi, Zimbabwe


Mudege, Netsayi N. 2008. “Gender Roles in Agricultural Knowledge in a Land Resettlement Context: The Case of Mupfurudzi, Zimbabwe.” Development Southern Africa 25 (4): 455-468.

Author: Netsayi N. Mudege


The present paper discusses the social construction and reconstruction of gender roles in relation to agricultural knowledge claims in a land resettlement area. Many women were politically active in the war of liberation where the land question dominated the agenda. However, at independence this question was framed in terms of race, and gender issues were sidelined. Despite the fact that women were not resettled in their own right, they are not simply victims of the system but manoeuvre within the system to gain advantages. This paper discusses strategies that women use to challenge the males in their families and the resultant conflicts and contradictions. It also discusses decision-making, investments and poverty as concepts and practices that can illuminate the gendering and gendered nature of knowledge in resettlement schemes. Claims of knowledge by both men and women are in the final analysis claims to the ownership of household and family resources. 

Keywords: gender roles, agricultural knowledge, conflict, ownership



“What government gives in the interest of gender equity, custom takes away.”(458)

“Although academics such as Gaidzanwa (1995) and Jacobs (1990) demand that women should be given individual rights to land, gender equity in terms of land cannot be achieved by simply giving them land as this does not guarantee that the land will remain in their hands in generations to come.” (458)

“The fact that women predominated among the poor households in the village may have been because of their lack of mobility…mobility was a critical factor especially in those houses that did not have grown male children to take over this function of gathering info from other sources.” (467)

“Women were not regarded as people who could be resettled in their own right despite the fact that they had participated in the liberation struggle.” (468)

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2008

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