Left out but Not Backing down: Exploring Women’s Voices against Large-Scale Agro-Plantations in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2017. “Left out but Not Backing Down: Exploring Women’s Voices against Large-Scale Agro-Plantations in Cameroon.” Development in Practice 27 (8): 1114–25.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article examines the situation of women around agro-plantations which have taken over their farmlands in the South-West Region of Cameroon through large-scale land acquisitions, and how they have sought popular redress. Based on a survey and focus group discussion among affected women, the findings revealed that women are generally left out of large-scale land acquisition processes. They complained of displacement from their farms and traditional forest resources, which has negative effects on their livelihoods and lifestyles. Despite women’s constrained situation, they have risen collectively against marginalisation, failed promises, and injustices through protests and defiance, achieving some successes in their demands for recognition and compensation.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article examine la situation des femmes dont les terres agricoles ont été acquises par les plantations agro-industrielles lors d'acquisitions foncières à grande échelle dans la Région Sud-Ouest du Cameroun, et comment elles ont cherché à obtenir réparation. Basés sur une enquête et des groupes de discussion thématique, les résultats ont révélé que les femmes concernées sont généralement exclues des processus d'acquisition foncière à grande échelle. Malgré leur situation contraignante, les femmes se sont soulevées collectivement contre leur marginalisation, les promesses non tenues et les injustices subies par elles à travers des manifestations et des actes de défiance, jusqu'à obtenir certains succès pour leurs exigences de reconnaissance et de compensation.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El presente artículo examina la situación de mujeres que habitan en zonas cercanas a plantas agroindustriales que, a través de adquisiciones de tierra a gran escala, han acaparado sus tierras en la región suroeste de Camerún. Asimismo, aborda cómo estas mujeres han solicitado reparaciones. La aplicación de una encuesta y la realización de discusiones entre mujeres afectadas en grupos de enfoque, revelan que éstas generalmente son excluidas de los procesos de adquisición de tierra a gran escala. Debido a ello reclaman haber sido desplazadas de sus parcelas agrícolas y de sus recursos forestales tradicionales, lo que ha producido efectos dañinos tanto en sus medios de vida como en sus estilos de vida. A pesar de la difícil situación que enfrentan, las mujeres se han movilizado colectivamente —a través de protestas y resistencias— en contra de la marginación, las promesas incumplidas y las injusticias, logrando algunos avances en sus demandas de reconocimiento y compensación.

Keywords: Sub- Saharan Africa, gender and diversity, Rights

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2017

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