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Central Africa

Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change

Citation:

Azong, Matilda, Clare J. Kelso, and Kammila Naidoo. 2018. "Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change." African Sociological Review / Revue Africaine de Sociologie 22 (1): 31-53. 

Authors: Matilda Azong, Clare J. Kelso, Kammila Naidoo

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The experience of climate change is filtered through ones existing cultural, social and economic vulnerabilities. The rural poor in natural resource dependent communities in various African countries are likely to be negatively affected by climate change. In many cultures female farmers are considerably worse off than their male counterparts. This study makes use of a life history methodology in order to examine the particular nature of the vulnerability experienced by rural women in Oku in the Bamenda Highlands region of Cameroon. Gender is linked to vulnerability through a number of factors. These include access to and control over land, division of labour, marriage relationships, access to education and responsibility for dependents. Participants’ life histories show how vulnerability in the region develops over time and is both complex and non-linear. Nevertheless, the participants expressed how they used their agency, both individual and collective, in coping with vulnerability. They narrate different adaptation strategies employed including livelihood diversification, and changing farming practices. Understanding the role of gender in shaping women’s vulnerability is useful in informing the design and implementation of adaptation policies. This article makes an empirical contribution to the discussions on the need to engender climate change research, policy and actions.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expérience du changement climatique est filtrée à travers les vulnérabilités culturelles, sociales et économiques existantes. Les ruraux pauvres des communautés dépendantes des ressources naturelles dans divers pays africains sont susceptibles d’être négativement affectés par le changement climatique. Dans de nombreuses cultures, les agricultrices sont nettement moins bien loties que leurs homologues masculins. Cette étude utilise une méthodologie d’histoire de vie afin d’examiner la nature particulière de la vulnérabilité des femmes rurales à Oku dans la région des hautes terres de Bamenda au Cameroun. Le genre est lié à la vulnérabilité à travers un certain nombre de facteurs. Ceux-ci comprennent l’accès et le contrôle de la terre, la division du travail, les relations matrimoniales, l’accès à l’éducation et la responsabilité des personnes à charge. Les histoires de vie des participants montrent comment la vulnérabilité dans la région se développe avec le temps et est à la fois complexe et non linéaire. Néanmoins, les participants ont expliqué comment ils ont utilisé leur agence, individuelle et collective, pour faire face à la vulnérabilité. Ils décrivent différentes stratégies d’adaptation utilisées, y compris la diversification des moyens de subsistance et l’évolution des pratiques agricoles. Comprendre le rôle du genre dans la détermination de la vulnérabilité des femmes est utile pour éclairer la conception et la mise en œuvre des politiques d’adaptation. Cet article apporte une contribution empirique aux discussions sur la nécessité d’engendrer des recherches, des politiques et des actions sur le changement climatique.
 

Keywords: vulnerability, Cameroon, gender, life history, climate, resilience

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2018

The Role of African Women in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The Case of Rwanda

Citation:

Issifu, Abdul Karim. 2015. "The Role of African Women in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The Case of Rwanda." Journal of Pan African Studies 8 (9): 63–78.

Author: Abdul Karim Issifu

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of women in post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa via a look at the roles played by the Rwandese women during and in the post-genocide era. Data for the paper is from a secondary source, including articles, books, internet publications, and journals, etc. A thorough content analysis and critical document review of the secondary data, reveals that, despite a UN Security Council Resolution repeated appeals to respect the equal rights of women and their role in peacebuilding, millions of women and children in Africa continue to account for the majority of casualties in hostilities, marginalisation and discriminations. Hence, to help promote and ensure sustainable peace for women, it is recommended that the United Nations, African Union, the European Union, large donor countries, etc. should make a greater effort to financially support a broader spectrum of local actors who work in the gender dimension, and specifically in the women’s movement.

Keywords: conflict, genocide, peacebuilding, Rwanda, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion

Citation:

Tantoh, Henry, and Tracey Mckay. 2020. "Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion." International Development Planning Review 42 (4): 455-78.

Authors: Henry Tantoh, Tracey Mckay

Abstract:

Many rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa have a long history of community cooperation and local-led development projects harnessed to improve the delivery of water services. This study examined issues of local leadership across various community-built rural water supply (CBRWS) in the Mbengwi, Njinikom and Ndu districts of Northwest Cameroon. The study found that where there was an absence of public water supplies, coupled with high levels of rural poverty, CBRWS projects were able to ensure a water supply lifeline. These projects were effective in communities where local leadership structures were strong, due to their ability to ensure high levels of community participation. Such communities experienced improved welfare and enhanced quality of life. Thus, involving community members in issues concerning their own development, coupled with good local-level leadership are crucial aspects of successful rural development projects. The study also found that, in all cases, local leadership was patriarchal and exclusionary. Labour, cash and in-kind support were donated by the residents but women and youths did not have a voice to participate in decisions relating to the community projects conferred upon them. Thus, community participation in these projects cannot be equated with promoting grassroots or participatory democracy. Rather it reinforced traditional hegemonies.

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2020

Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?

Citation:

Byemba, Gabriel Kamundala. 2020. “Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?” The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2): 420–7.

Author: Gabriel Kamundal Byemba

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the opportunities, constraints and challenges for women in Tantalum, Tungsten, Tin and Gold (3TG) supply chains in the artisanal and smallscale mining (ASM) sector of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Drawing on empirical qualitative data collected during five months of field research between 2015 and 2018, the paper analyzes the governance structures of, and power relations within, 3TG ASM supply chains in the eastern DRC, with special emphasis on women's roles. The analysis offers clues as to why, in eastern DRC, women's positions in 3TG ASM supply chains changed after formalization.

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

Year: 2020

Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?

Citation:

Sulle, Emmanuel, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, and Leah Mugehera. 2019. “Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?” Paper presented at Conference on Land Policy in Africa, 2019: Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, Abidjan, November 25-29.

Authors: Emmanuel Sulle, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, Leah Mugehera

Abstract:

This paper assesses the performance of selected countries in implementing the provisions of women’s land rights instruments such as African Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure among others. Field research was carried out in seven African countries whereby, in each country a national researcher in collaboration with the collaborating nongovernmental organisation selected three heterogeneous locations which capture the range of situations under which rural women use land. Based on field research results complemented with desk review, the study finds that while statutory laws to protect women land rights are in place in all studied countries, with some differences and, in some cases with existing loopholes, adherence to these laws at the community level remain inadequate. This is particularly evident in terms of equality of rights to inherit land among men and women. Women experience constant threat from clansmen and relatives of their husbands. As also documented elsewhere, in many African communities (although not all), most land-holding systems are male lineage based, with men playing an important decision-making role. Malawi represents a specific case in this regard, as most land-holdings are based on matrilineal systems, but this still is not an automatic guarantee of women having more decision-making power on land. Based on these findings the paper confirms that while impressive steps to address women’s land rights issues have been taken in recent African policies, law enforceability is yet to receive sufficient political backing, due to widespread patriarchal values, limited financial and human resources and last but not least informal rules of the games that are the same drivers of widespread corruption. Patronage, ‘clientage’, illegality and opacity of land transactions find fertile ground in a patriarchal system. Understanding the status, causes and consequences of the de facto ‘unenforceability’ of constitutional and legal provisions in favour of women might shed a light on much broader challenges like those addressed in this conference. Holistic implementation and reforms that 1) address existing loopholes in land laws and regulation, 2) align other sectoral policies, laws and regulations, and 3) use transformative actions to revert patriarchal values in order to bridge the gender gap in property rights, but also to help creating a fairer environment to contribute combating corruption.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Governance, Constitutions, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Togo

Year: 2019

Competition and Gender in the Lab vs Field: Experiments from Off-Grid Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda

Citation:

Klege, Rebecca A., and Martine Visser. 2020. “Competition and Gender in the Lab vs Field: Experiments from Off-Grid Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda.” ERSA Working Paper 806, Economic Research Southern Africa, University of Cape Town.

Authors: Rebecca A. Klege, Martine Visser

Abstract:

Applications of lab experiments to real-world phenomenon are limited. We fill the gap by examining how gender attitudes and performance under competitive situations in the lab, reflects microenterprise outcomes in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda. — a country with progressive gender policies despite its traditional patriarchal set-up. We use the standard Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) experimental design in addition to a unique dataset from off-grid microenterprises, managed by entrepreneurs who have been working in mixed and single-sex teams since 2016. Our findings show that the gender composition of teams does not affect decisions to compete in the lab. Instead returns to education and risk-taking are more valuable to single-sex teams than for mixed gender teams. We also show that under competitive situations, women perform as well as men. Findings from the field strongly support findings in the lab that female-owned enterprises do not underperform in competitive settings, which corroborates the external validity of our lab results. Given that lab and field findings suggest no significant differentials in terms of competitiveness or performance of females, there exist ample scope to increase women involvement in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda. 

Keywords: competition, gender differences, entrepreneurs, performance, renewable energy

Topics: Economies, Education, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2020

Gendered Land Rights, Legal Reform and Social Norms in the Context of Land Fragmentation - a Review of the Literature for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda

Citation:

Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes. 2020. “Gendered Land Rights, Legal Reform and Social Norms in the Context of Land Fragmentation - A Review of the Literature for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.” Land Use Policy 90: 1–10.

Author: Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt

Keywords: land tenure, land rights, Sub-Saharan Africa, gender, social norms, legal pluralism, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Annotation:

Summary:
“Recently, concerns have been voiced regarding the rapid increases in rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa and their consequences for rural livelihoods and food security (Headey and Jayne, 2014; Jayne et al., 2014) as pressure on land increases in already land-constrained countries. Generally speaking, the literature shows a number of parallel tendencies as demand for land increases: the marginalization of weaker groups’ claims to land and a growing push towards individualized tenure arrangements. While intersectional aspects related to marriage, age, ethnicity and migrant status must be born in mind, from a gender perspective, women in sub-Saharan Africa have historically been discriminated against in property rights systems that either view women as property or severely curtail their property rights by assigning them rights to land through adult males, such as husbands, fathers or sons (Joireman, 2008). Such discrimination would be expected to be accentuated by growing demand for land, as the property rights of adult males take precedence over those of women.
 
While contemporary processes of population growth and commodification of land more generally are expressed in dwindling farm sizes in a number of African countries such tendencies should also be situated in relation to increasing policy experimentation with privatized land rights more generally, either on individual or communal basis. Here, the literature suggests that formalization of land rights may enshrine gender-based discrimination through formalizing the customary land rights of male right holders. Simultaneously, however, legal reforms in several countries, at least ostensibly, have attempted to improve land rights for women.
 
The aim of this article is to review the literature on women’s rights to land in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda against this broader backdrop of fragmentation, commodification, individualization of land rights and legal reform. The review explores a set of research questions, which take their point of departure from the hypothesized links between gender-based discrimination and the parallel processes of land fragmentation and privatization, but also explores the country level empirics of such discrimination in the context of recent legal reforms. The following questions underpin the analysis
 
- Does gender-based discrimination exist in the land tenure systems and land use practices found in these countries?
 
- If so, what role do formal and informal legal mechanisms and social norms, respectively, play in upholding this discrimination?
 
- How do growing demand for land and privatization of tenure affect rural livelihoods from a gender perspective?
 
A sizeable literature exists with respect to the first two questions, and most attention will therefore be paid to these. While the literature on livelihood changes is limited, contrasting theoretical perspectives highlight the link between privatized tenure and livelihood outcomes (whether positive or negative). As such the inclusion of this question is warranted despite the relative lack of literature on the topic.
 
The article begins by describing the methodology including the selection of countries and sources used. This is followed by a description of gendered patterns of land control and ownership. A theoretical section follows, outlining theories related to land rights and privatization and individualization of tenure and the presumed linkages between redressing gender discrimination in land rights and positive outcomes such as raising productivity and improving child welfare. A descriptive section introduces the tenure systems, land legislation and the current situation of women’s access to land in each country, tracing the inequities and discrimination that are present in the contemporary tenure, market, and inheritance systems for land. Following this descriptive section, I synthesize the findings for the countries overall, identifying the formal and informal mechanisms through which discriminating practices are perpetuated and if and how they have been affected by recent legal reform efforts and changes in land policy. Finally, I discuss the gender consequences of these developments for rural livelihoods” (Andersson Djurfeldt 1-2).

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2020

Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa

Citation:

Bizoza, Alfred Runezerwa. 2019. “Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 46–59.

Author: Alfred Runezerwa Bizoza

Abstract:

This article discusses different issues pertaining gender and land governance with focus to access and control of land by rural women and how this affects their resilience in G5-Sahel region- Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania. Findings show that land remains the property of men, customary chiefs, male members of the family who have the full control of land use; women continue to serve as servants of their husbands in the farming activities. Limited access to production resources such as land, agricultural inputs, small scale irrigation and agricultural mechanization, and lack of post-harvest handling facilities; all restrain women’s economic capacity for their economic resilience to climate change and other natural disasters. There is need, therefore, for innovative models of land tenure regularization systems in the G5-Sahel countries; models that take into account current social, cultural and religious barriers for women’s land access and use for their economic activities.

Keywords: land rights, gender, economic resilience, G5-Sahel, West Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Land Tenure, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

Year: 2019

Effects of Women Land Rights on Agricultural Outcomes in Rwanda

Citation:

Kamande, Mercyline W, and Emery Musonerwa Bahati. 2019. “Effects of Women Land Rights on Agricultural Outcomes in Rwanda.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2 (11). 

Authors: Mercyline W. Kamande, Emery Musonerwa Bahati

Abstract:

This study examines the effect of land rights on agricultural outcomes in Rwanda. We characterize the effects of land rights from two perspectives. The first one is land rights indicated by the right to sell and guarantee land and the second one is land titling. The agricultural outcomes include agricultural productivity, food security and nutritional diversity. From the results, land rights are found to have a positive relationship with all the outcome variables. The effect of land rights on agricultural productivity is larger if the household head is male. Joint titling has a negative effect on food security but the effect is not conclusive in the case of agricultural productivity and nutritional diversity. We conclude that land rights are important for the three outcome variables. Women land rights have a positive effect on agricultural productivity although the effect is larger in the case of male land rights.

Keywords: land rights, food security, nutritional diversity, Agricultural productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use

Citation:

LaBiche, Monica, and Sherina Munyana. 2017. “Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use.” Paper presented at 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, San Jose, CA, October 19-22.

Authors: Monica LaBiche, Sherina Munyana

Abstract:

Agriculture is the backbone of African economies, especially in rural areas where over 70% of people rely on subsistence farming for their livelihood. In Rwanda and Uganda, where Africa Development Promise (ADP) works, 90% of economically active women work in the agricultural sector. Overall women work more and longer hours compared to men because of additional household responsibilities such as preparing food, collecting fuelwood and water. This time deficit leaves no time for education or productive endeavors. The paper argues that access to new technologies that save time, especially tedious and laborious work, can have a significant positive impact on women’s efficiency, productivity and income-generating potential. It shares ADP’s shift from a single-entry economic development approach to a holistic approach that incorporates access to solar energy to support women’s economic endeavors. The paper is shared with organizations addressing similar challenges, but more importantly to seek feedback from development practitioners.

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2017

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