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Central Africa

Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies

Citation:

Molua, Ernest L. 2011. “Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies.” Sustainability Science 6: 21-35. 

Author: Ernest L. Molua

Abstract:

This paper explores the response to risk of smallholder agricultural producers in the face of variable and changing climate in Cameroon. The low rainfall distribution in some regions of the country and the high inter-seasonal variability of rainfall makes crop production, on which the livelihood of rural inhabitants is based, a risky enterprise. Women farmers in Cameroon are an important group for whom risk aversion influences production outcomes and welfare. This study identifies and analyses the effect of climate risks on the productive activities and the management options of male and female farmers. Women-owned farms, on average, record profits of US$ 620 per hectare to about US$ 935 for crop enterprises across the different agroecological zones. Comparatively static results indicate that increases in climate variability and the uncertainty of climate conditions have an explicit impact on farm profit. The impacts of increased uncertainty in climate and risk aversion are ambiguous depending on the agroecology. Ex-ante and ex-post risk management options reveal that female-owned farms in the northern Sahel savannah zone rely on more sophisticated strategies to reduce the impact of shocks. While adapting to uncertain climate positively influences profit levels, risk measured as the variance of rainfall or temperature per unit variation in profit is significant. This analysis stresses the increased importance of climate risk management as a prelude to the panoply of adaptation choice in response to expected climatic change. 

Keywords: Cameroon, agriculture, female-owned farm, climate, uncertainty, risk aversion

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2011

Women, Mining and Power in Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: The Case of Kisengo

Citation:

Bashwira, Marie-Rose, and Jeroen Cuvelier. 2019. "Women, Mining and Power in Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: The Case of Kisengo." The Extractive Industries and Society. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2019.02.010

Authors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Jeroen Cuvelier

Abstract:

Recent decades have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in women’s involvement in ASM, with many authors drawing attention to two frequently occurring trends: the fact that women move to mining areas to escape oppressive gender rules and norms, and the remarkable efforts of women miners to exercise agency in the typically complex and unstable socio-political environments of artisanal mining sites. An important gap in the existing literature is the lack of attention for the differences in agency and the power relations between these women. This article seeks to fill this gap by presenting an ethnographic case study on the so-called mamans moutrousses, a group of women assisting artisanal miners with the drying and cleaning of minerals in coltan mines close to Kisengo, a locality situated in the Congolese Tanganyika province. Drawing inspiration from Vigh’s navigation theory, the work of Honwana, and the spatial approach advanced by Watts and Korf, the article argues that the less successful women in Kisengo’s mining business have only been able to display ‘tactic agency’, while the more successful ones have succeeded in demonstrating ‘strategic agency’.

Keywords: ASM (artisanal and small-scale mining), gender, women, Democratic Republic of Congo, governance, social navigation, agency

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

Financial Inclusion for Women and Men in Artisanal Gold Mining Communities: A Case Study from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Citation:

Reichel, Victoria. 2019. "Financial Inclusion for Women and Men in Artisanal Gold Mining Communities: A Case Study from the Democratic Republic of the Congo." The Extractive Industries and Society. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2019.05.003

Author: Victoria Reichel

Abstract:

This article presents results from a community-led savings and credit project implemented by the Canadian non-governmental organization IMPACT in six artisanal gold mining communities in Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Artisanal Mining Women's Empowerment Credit & Savings project (known in French as Autonomisation des femmes par l’épargne et le crédit communautaire responsible or AFECCOR) supports more than 1400 women and men in artisanal gold mining communities to access savings and credit by establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).
 
While international development efforts increasingly focus on the formalization of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, how to improve the sector’s access to formal financial services, including through microfinance, has not yet been fully explored. The results from the AFECCOR project are among some of the first documented experiences of introducing VSLAs into artisanal mining communities where they can positively contribute to cover basic financial needs.

Keywords: financial inclusion, artisanal gold mining, ASM, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Village Savings and Loan Associations, VSLA, microfinance

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda

Citation:

Kayigema, Vincent, and Denis Rugege. 2014. “Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda.” Agenda 28 (3): 53-64.

Authors: Vincent Kayigema, Denis Rugege

Abstract:

The Girinka ‘one cow per poor family’ programme has been implemented in Rwanda since 2006 to contribute towards poverty reduction, reduction of child malnutrition as well as to promote climate resilience among poor rural families. Under the programme, every family whose local community confirms it meets national criteria of being poor receives one dairy cow. Impacts of the Girinka programme on female beneficiaries for increasing livelihood options and enabling food security in the drought-prone Bugesera District as well as its potential contribution to climate resilience were assessed. The specific focus was whether the Girinka programme assists female beneficiaries to better cope with climate change in Bugesera District. The key consideration is the extent to which interventions reduce women’s vulnerability to climate change impacts. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in this study. One hundred and thirty three female beneficiaries were interviewed and four focus group discussions held. The key findings of the study show that the one cow per poor family resulted in expanded land use, improved household nutrition and food security. Changes in agricultural practices resulting from the use of green fertiliser contributed to climate change resilience, increased crop production and generated income for poor rural women. The study reveals that while the government energy policy prioritises biogas energy production and the use of cow dung for biogas energy generation to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere for climate resilience, few respondents in the study could afford to buy biodigesters. Direct benefits for women who are responsible for energy and the collection of wood for their households are not yet being reaped and depend on affordable biodigesters. The main problems reported by respondents were inadequate veterinary services for care of the cow, the frequent search for water sources during droughts and insufficient land to grow fodder.

Keywords: climate change, climate resilience, Girinka programme, Rwanda, women

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2014

Constructions of Gender in the Nationalist Discourses of the Obiang Regime

Citation:

Allan, Joanna. 2019."Constructions of Gender in the Nationalist Discourses of the Obiang Regime." In Silenced Resistance: Women, Dictatorships, and Genderwashing in Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea, 131-52. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Author: Joanna Allan

Abstract:

Summary: 
"In this chapter, I deconstruct the images of gender that are projected in the nationalist discourses of the Obiang regime and attempt to explain the ideological functions of such imaginations. This serves to add to wider research on African examples of “state feminism.” By focusing on Obiang, I show how an oppressive authoritarian regime employs constructions of gender (equality) to further its own ends. I compare this with observations of the previous chapter, to illustrate how similar mechanisms of discourse can be used for very different purposes. That is to say, POLISARIO used particular constructions of gender and “gender equality” to strengthen the national liberation movement and has been largely successful in making these part of hegemonic nationalist discourse. Obiang uses similar discourses on gender equality to oppress his population, often through domination rather than hegemony.
 
"First, I describe how Obiang came to power and how he has attempted to build a national identity, with himself as its foundation. I also explain how the Equatoguinean government is structured. This helps us establish the extent to which Obiang and government discourse are one and the same. Then, I move on to deconstruct gender and gender equality in regime discourse, before exploring the internal and external functions of such constructions. Finally, taking into account that the oil industry today dominates the economy of Equatorial Guinea, I look at what oil has meant for women’s socioeconomic opportunities" (Allan 2019, 131-2). 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Equatorial Guinea

Year: 2019

Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo

Citation:

Perks, Rachel, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Constantian, and Phuong Pham. 2018. "Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo." In Between the Plough and the Pick: Informal, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the Contemporary World, edited by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, 209-32. Action, ACT: ANU Press.

Authors: Rachel Perks, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Contsantian, Phuong Pham

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Few things evoke reactions as passionate as issues surrounding gender, conflict and mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At once reviled by international advocacy organisations and celebrated by local communities, mining is viewed as both the scourge and the saviour of a region wrecked by decades of violence. Studies have reported on human rights as well as on the status of women in the DRC, and although some examine the link between mining and sex-based violence, little research explores the gender dimensions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The research in this chapter was framed by questions such as: Do men and women face similar difficulties when seeking to gain employment in mining? Are they afforded similar opportunities once they have secured access into ASM? What are the most prevalent social, economic and health impacts experienced by individuals. Are these impacts gendered? A human rights–based approach informed the range of issues examined, such as gender, militarisation of the extraction process and free and equal participation in political, judicial and economic systems. By speaking with a wide variety of actors who live and work within these communities, we attempted to identify issues that are common to mining-affected areas. The experiences of both women and men were examined, but a particular focus remained on understanding women’s experiences in mining towns. Hence, the research was ultimately guided by the hypothesis that by understanding issues related to safety, security and economic opportunities for women, significant gains in both economic and social development in the eastern DRC could be achieved" (Perks et al. 2018, 209-10). 

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda

Citation:

Nzayisenga, Marie Jeanne, Camilla Orjuela, and Isabell Schierenbeck. 2016. “Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda.” African Security 9 (4): 278-98.

Authors: Marie Jeanne Nzayisenga, Camilla Orjuela, Isabell Schierenbeck

Abstract:

Despite the growing importance of the concept [of] human security, security studies in Africa remain largely focused on the threat of direct violence and the role of state actors. This article broadens the security agenda by focusing on food security and discusses how women in rural Rwanda experience and view food security. In making individual women the referent of security, the article exposes the gap between national level reforms, which aim to and have been deemed successful to combat poverty and increase food production, and the experiences of women who report a decline in food availability and increased problems in accessing food in the wake of reforms and who often struggle against hunger in a disadvantaged position within their households and local power structures. Building on 51 interviews with women in western Rwanda conducted in 2013 and 2014, the article illustrates how the human security perspective with a sensitivity to gender relations and positions is important for gaining a fuller picture of the security of individuals. 

Keywords: agricultural reforms, food security, human security, Rwanda, women's security

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Food Security, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Households, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2016

When “Bright Futures” Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda

Citation:

Berry, Marie E. 2015. "When 'Bright Futures' Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 41 (1): 1-27.

Author: Marie E. Berry

Annotation:

Summary:
"Recent qualitative work has challenged many of the impressive development indicators that the Government of Rwanda has presented to the international donor community. This article continues in this mold, employing qualitative methods and a bottom-up perspective to illustrate three paradoxes of development efforts that have emerged within different social institutions—including the family, the education system, and the labor market. Each of these paradoxes serves as an example of how efforts to promote women have failed to fundamentally transform ordinary women’s lives. In the first, patriarchal processes conflate adulthood with marriage, denying unwed women the same rights as their married counterparts and thus reinforcing women’s dependence on men. In the second, well-intentioned education policies promoting girls have unintended effects, which ultimately create new forms of oppression for women. Finally, the ambitious development enterprise led by the government is only made possible through the repression of some of its citizens, which essentially entrenches their poverty even more deeply. Combined, these three paradoxes suggest that the very efforts intended to remedy women’s subordination have indirectly reinforced it in particular ways. This article joins a tradition of feminist scholarship that cautions against an easy reading of efforts to promote social change" (Berry 2015, 3). 
 

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Households, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, and Lawrence Fon Fombe. 2012. “Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 260-74.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fon Fombe

Abstract:

Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws against women's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights.

Keywords: women's rights, land tenure, customary practices, discrimination, development

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2012

From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda

Citation:

Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2018. "From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (3): 588-605.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge

Abstract:

During the post‐genocide period, the Government of Rwanda embarked on a land tenure reform programme that culminated in a land registration and titling process in 2009. This paper intends to capture women's experiences in relation to this programme. The empirical data were collected in Musanze District using a household survey, semi‐structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The main findings reveal that there is support of the general idea that women should benefit from the land tenure reform in Rwanda. However, there is some criticism towards parts of the land laws, and women have limited actual knowledge about land‐related laws. With land titles, women mostly have a say on the land use decisions requiring each of the spounses' legal consents but not on the daily management of land and its produce. Finally, the paper reports the persistence of social norms and culturally biased gender ideologies affecting the effective implementation of land‐related laws and policies. Therefore, the paper underscores the need to build the implementation of new laws and policies on a good understanding of customary practices to strengthen women's land rights in Rwanda.

Keywords: land rights, land tenure reform, Rwanda, women's experiences

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

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