Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands

Citation:

Caretta, Martina Angela, and Lowe Börjeson. 2015. “Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 22 (5): 644–61.

Authors: Martina Angela Caretta, Lowe Börjeson

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article presents the local gender contract of a smallholder irrigation farming community in Sibou, Kenya. Women’s role in subsistence farming in Africa has mostly been analyzed through the lens of gender division of labor. In addition to this, we used the concept of ‘local gender contract’ to analyze cultural and material preconditions shaping gender-specific tasks in agricultural production, and consequently, men’s and women’s different strategies for adapting to climate variability. We show that the introduction of cash crops, as a trigger for negotiating women’s and men’s roles in the agricultural production, results in a process of gender contract renegotiation, and that families engaged in cash cropping are in the process of shifting from a ‘local resource contract’ to a ‘household income contract.’ Based on our analysis, we argue that a transformation of the local gender contract will have a direct impact on the community’s adaptive capacity climate variability. It is, therefore, important to take the negotiation of local gender contracts into account in assessments of farming communities’ adaptive capacity.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este trabajo presenta el contrato local de género de una comunidad de pequeños agricultores de agricultura de riego en Sibou, Kenia. El rol de las mujeres en la agricultura de subsistencia en África ha sido mayormente analizado con una óptica de la división generizada del trabajo. Además de esto, utilizamos el concepto de “contrato de género local” para analizar las precondiciones culturales y materiales que dan forma a las tareas específicas de cada género en la producción agrícola, y consecuentemente, las diferentes estrategias de hombres y mujeres para adaptarse a la variabilidad del clima. Mostramos que la introducción de cultivos comerciales, como disparador para la negociación de los roles de las mujeres y los hombres en la producción agrícola, resulta en un proceso de renegociación del contrato de género, y que las familias que participan del cultivo comercial se encuentran en el proceso de cambio de un “contrato local de recursos” a un “contrato de ingresos del hogar”. Basado en nuestro análisis, sostenemos que una transformación del contrato local de género tendrá un impacto directo en la capacidad adaptativa de la comunidad a la variabilidad del clima. Es por lo tanto importante tener en cuenta a los contratos de género locales al evaluar la capacidad adaptativa de las comunidades agricultoras.
 
CHINESE ABSTRACT:
本文呈现肯尼亚希普(Sibou)中的一个小农灌溉农业小区的在地性别契约。女性在非洲口粮耕种中的角色,多半透过性别劳动分工的视角检视之。除此之外,我们运用“在地性别契约”的概念,分析形塑农业生产中特定性别工作的文化与物质先决条件,及其所导致的男性与女性调试气候变异的不同策略。我们将显示,经济作物的引进,做为协商女性与男性在农业生产中的角色之触媒,导致性别契约的再协商过程,从事经济作物耕作的家庭,则正在经历从“在地资源契约”转向“家户收入契约”的过程。根据我们的分析,我们主张,在地性别契约的转变,将直接影响小区对气候变异的调适能力。因此,在评估农业社群的调适能力时,考量在地性别契约的协商是至关重要的。

Keywords: local gender contract, climate variability, East African drylands, smallholder irrigation farming, gendered adaptive capacity, contrato de género local, variabilidad climática, tierras secas del África Oriental, agricultura de riego a pequeña escala, capacidad adaptativa generizada, 在地性别契约, 气候变异, 东非旱地, 小农灌溉农作, 性别化的调适能力

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

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