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Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi

Citation:

Murray, Una, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, and Charles Spillane. 2016. "Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi." Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 117-48. 

Authors: Una Murray, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, Charles Spillane

Abstract:

Climate change and variability present a major challenge to agricultural production and rural livelihoods, including livelihoods of women small- holder farmers. There are significant efforts underway to develop, deploy, and scale up Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices and technologies to facilitate climate change adaptation for farmers. However, there is a need for gender analysis of CSA practices across different farming and cultural systems to facilitate adoption by, and livelihood improvements for, women smallholder farmers. Climate change poses challenges for maintaining and improving agricultural and labor productivity of women smallholder farmers. The labor productivity of many women smallholders is constrained by lack of access to labor-saving technologies and the most basic of farm tools. Poorer smallholders face a poverty trap, due to low agricultural and labor productivity, from which they cannot easily escape without access to key resources such as rural energy and labor- saving technologies. In Malawi, the agricultural system is predominantly rainfed and largely composed of smallholders who remain vulnerable to climate change and variability shocks. Despite the aspirations of women smallholders to engage in CSA, our research highlights that many women smallholders have either limited or no access to basic agricultural tools, transport, and rural energy. This raises the question of whether the future livelihood scenarios for such farmers will consist of barely surviving or “hanging in”; or whether such farmers can “step up” to adapt better to future climate constraints; or whether more of these farmers will “step out” of agriculture. We argue that for women smallholder farmers to become more climate change resilient, more serious attention to gender analysis is needed to address their constraints in accessing basic agricultural technologies, combined with participatory approaches to develop and adapt CSA tools and technologies to their needs in future climates and agro-ecologies.

Keywords: climate change, women smallholders, labor productivity, participatory technology design, agriculture, economic growth

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2016

Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje. 2000. Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Nadje Al-Ali

Annotation:

Summary:
A considerable literature has been devoted to the study of Islamic activism. By contrast, Nadje Al-Ali's book explores the anthropological and political significance of secular-oriented activism by focusing on the women's movement in Egypt. In so doing, it challenges stereotypical images of Arab women as passive victims and demonstrates how they fight for their rights and confront conservative forces. Al-Ali's book also takes issue with prevailing constructions of 'the West' and its perceived dichotomous relation to 'the East'. The argument is constructed around interviews which afford fascinating insights into the history of the women's movement in Egypt, notions about secularism and how Islamist constituencies have impacted on women's activism generally. The balance between the empirical and conceptual material is adeptly handled. The author frames her work in the context of current theoretical debates in Middle Eastern and post-colonial scholarship: while some of the ideas are complex, her lucid style means they are always comprehensible; the book will therefore appeal to students, as well as to scholars in the field. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)


Table of Contents:
Introduction

1. Up Against Conceptual Frameworks: Post-Orientalism, Occidentalism and Presentations of the Self

2. Contextualizing the Egyptian Women's Movement

3. Self and Generation: Formative Experiences of Egyptian Women Activists

4. Secularism: Challenging Neo-Orientalism and ‘His-Stories’

5. From Words to Deeds: Priorities and Projects of Contemporary Activists

6. A Mirror of Political Culture in Egypt: Divisions and Debates among Women Activists

Conclusion: ‘Standing on Shifting Ground’

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2000

A Gender Perspective on the Impact of Flood on the Food Security of Households in Rural Communities of Anambra State, Nigeria

Citation:

Ajaero, Chukwuedozie K. 2017. “A Gender Perspective on the Impact of Flood on the Food Security of Households in Rural Communities of Anambra State, Nigeria.” Food Security 9 (4): 685–95.

Author: Chukwuedozie K. Ajaero

Abstract:

This research examined gender perspectives of the implications of the severe 2012 flood on household food security in rural Anambra state, Nigeria. Two hundred and forty flood-affected migrant households, made up of 120 maleheaded households (MHHs) and 120 female-headed households (FHHs) in four rural local government areas (LGAs) were interviewed using a questionnaire. In addition, 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in the LGAs. Data analysis was by descriptive statistics, use of a food security index, and binary logistic regression. Before the flood, 89% of FHHs and 84% of MHHs reported they had been food secure, but after the flood only 34% of MHHs and 22% of FHHs remained food secure. The regression results identified higher incomes, marital status, and larger household sizes as significant predictors of food security for both MHHs and FHHs after the flood. Engagement in other occupations apart from farming and severity of damage from the flood prior to migration were the most important factors that predicted the food security status of MHHs after the flood, while an increase in the age of household head and higher levels of education were significant predictors of food security among FHHs after the flood. These results show that the diversification of income away from a reliance on agriculture, early warning systems for disasters, and improvement in the educational status of women could help households to remain food secure after future floods in Nigeria.

Keywords: gender, 2012 flood, food security, Nigeria, migration, rural communities

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2017

Gender and Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Citation:

Wekesah, Frederick M., Edna N. Mutua, and Chimaraoke O. Izugbara. 2019. “Gender and Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 17 (1): 78-91.

Authors: Frederick M. Wekesah, Edna N. Mutua, Chimaraoke O. Izugbara

Abstract:

Conservation agriculture (CA) involves the practice of concurrent minimum tillage, permanent soil cover using crop residue, and crop rotation. Evidence indicates that CA increases agricultural productivity, reduces farming labour requirements, and improves soil quality. While CA is practised in several African contexts, little is known about its interaction with gender. This review synthesized knowledge on the interplay of gender and CA in sub-Saharan Africa. The review highlighted the relative neglect of gender issues in research on CA in SSA. Existing research was limited both in quantity and to a few countries in the region. There was also little critical focus on gender as a social phenomenon: a few of the studies conceptualized gender in terms of the socially constructed roles of men and women while the majority framed it in terms of the sexual categories of male and female. Compared to men, and due largely to gendered barriers, including lack of access to land; machinery; inputs; extension services; and credit facilities, women farmers adopted CA less and disadopted it more. CA increased women’s incomes, labour involvement, household food security, as well as risks for land and crop dispossession by men when farming becomes lucrative. It also increased workloads, employment opportunities and health risks for women. CA positively altered gender relations, boosting women’s participation in agricultural decision-making at the household level. Deliberately enlisting women as beneficiaries; working with men to advance their understanding of women’s needs in agriculture; and offering agricultural inputs directly to women are some strategies that enhanced women’s participation in CA. Gaps in current research on gender and CA include: critical focus on and understanding of gender as a social construct in relation to CA; the long-term impacts on CA for gender relations, incomes for men and women, and women’s empowerment; the sustainability of strategies for supporting gendered participation in CA; and the dynamics of gendered access to local farmland markets for CA. 

Keywords: gender, conservation agriculture, sustainable agriculture, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, men, land

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

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

Gendered Reporting of Household Dynamics in the Kenyan Dairy Sector: Trends and Implications for Low Emissions Dairy Development

Citation:

Tavenner, Katie, Simon Fraval, Immaculate Omondi, and Todd A. Crane. 2018. “Gendered Reporting of Household Dynamics in the Kenyan Dairy Sector: Trends and Implications for Low Emissions Dairy Development.” Gender, Technology and Development 22 (1): 1-19.

Authors: Katie Tavenner, Simon Fraval, Immaculate Omondi, Todd A. Crane

Abstract:

Within the Kenyan dairy sector, climate change mitigation interventions are striving to sustainably intensify milk production while addressing the gender dynamics that mediate farmers’ ability to effectively participate in, and benefit from, low emissions development. In order to better understand these gender dynamics, household surveys were deployed by the East African Dairy Development (EADD) program to collect information on current practices of decision-making, resources, and labor dynamics within dairy farm households. Using the EADD survey results as secondary data, this study analyzes emergent patterns in these domains among cattle-keeping households in Bomet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, and Kericho counties in Western Kenya. In analyzing these patterns, paired sample tests revealed statistically significant differences in results based on the gender of the respondent. While there were some categories that women and men reported on similarly, other areas were hotly contested. These results provide important challenges, both methodologically and programmatically, in interpreting gender dynamics across these domains. This paper reflects on the challenges and the opportunities of these data for informing gender-equitable low emissions development in the Kenyan dairy sector.

Keywords: gender, dairy, household survey, low emissions development, livestock, Kenya

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2018

Biopolitics, Climate Change and Water Security: Impact, Vulnerability and Adaptation Issues for Women

Citation:

Tandon, Nidhi. 2007. “Biopolitics, Climate Change and Water Security: Impact, Vulnerability and Adaptation Issues for Women.” Agenda 21 (73): 4-17.

Author: Nidhi Tandon

Abstract:

This article is not intended to be alarmist but its message is urgent. Its observations are fairly straightforward – it examines how climate change will impact on water security1, from both the supply and the demand side and how the African continent is especially vulnerable. Its core premise is that one important factor is to ensure that women have the necessary information, tools and resources to plan and take decisions around water security as it pertains to current and future needs. The paper’s focus is the African continent, with examples drawn from other developing countries. Its recommendations are extracted from workshop experiences in the field. 

Keywords: climate change, water security, drought, poverty

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2007

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

'Gender Hates Men': Untangling Gender and Development Discourses in Food Security Fieldwork in Urban Malawi

Citation:

Riley, Liam, and Belinda Dodson. 2016. “‘Gender Hates Men’: Untangling Gender and Development Discourses in Food Security Fieldwork in Urban Malawi.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (7): 1047-60.

Authors: Liam Riley, Belinda Dodson

Abstract:

This article examines the social construction and contestation of gender and gender roles in the city of Blantyre in Malawi. In fieldwork on gendered household roles related to food security, interviews with men and women revealed a distinct set of connotations with the word gender, which reflected Malawians’ historical and contemporary engagement with concepts of development, modernity, and human rights. We denote the Malawian concept of gender as gender in order to distinguish the word participants used in interviews from the more widely accepted conventional definition. We then use this distinction to highlight the ways in which ideas of gender equality have been introduced and received in the Malawian context. The urban setting of the research is key to drawing out the association of gender with Westernization, bringing into focus the power dynamics inherent in the project of translating global discourses of gender rights and gender equality into meaningful social change in developing countries. Gender in Malawi denotes a top-down (and outside-in) process of framing Malawi’s goals for gender equality. This creates political constraints both in the form of resistance to gender, because it resonates with a long history of social change imposed by outside forces, and in the form of superficial adherence to gender to appear more urban and modern, especially to a Western researcher. Local understandings of gender as gender undermine efforts to promote gender equality as a means to address Malawi’s intense urban poverty and household food insecurity.

Keywords: gender, development, postcolonial feminism, urban, qualitative research, Malawi

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2016

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