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Central Africa

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: Development, Economies, Poverty, 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

Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience

Citation:

Ngoga, Thierry Hoza. 2012."Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience." Paper presented at the Expert Group Meeting Good Practices in Realizing Women's Rights to Productive Resources, With a Focus on Land, Geneva, Switzerland, June 25-27.

Author: Thierry Hoza Ngoga

Abstract:

Since 2004, Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious land tenure reform programme (LTR) aimed at increasing security of tenure to all land owners and the elimination of all forms of discrimination. This has largely been achieved through the establishment and implementation of a new legal, regulatory and institutional framework.
 
This paper discusses the ongoing land tenure reform programme and its impact on women’s land rights. It focuses on the role of women in the decision making in the course of developing the legal and regulatory framework, the rights that those tools provide to women and the inclusiveness and protection of women’s land rights in the ongoing land registration programme. The aim of the paper is then to draw on some best practices gleaned from the programme in protecting women’s rights to land.

Topics: Gender, Women, peace and security, Justice, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist’s Reflections

Citation:

Mougoué, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta. 2018. "Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist's Reflections." Meridians 17 (2): 338-58.

Author: Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué

Abstract:

Utilizing interdisciplinary and multimethodological approaches, this essay explores women’s roles in buttressing the political cohesion of secessionist movements in postcolonial Africa. It argues that African women have supported the actions of male-dominated secessionist movements in order to garner their own social and political power. Using case studies from Anglophone Cameroon, Western Sahara, Cabinda Province (Angola), and Biafra (Nigeria), the essay historicizes and outlines a new analytical framework that explores women’s multifaceted participation in secessionist movements in modern-day Africa.

Keywords: gender, secessionism, Cameroon, Cabinda, Western Sahara, Biafra

Topics: Armed Conflict, Secessionist Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Western Sahara

Year: 2018

Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250

Citation:

de Luna, Kathryn M. 2017. “Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 51–60.

Author: Kathryn M. de Luna

Abstract:

Kathryn M. de Luna explores the micropolitics of knowledge production through a case study of the history of bushcraft. She highlights the special status given to practitioners of bush technologies—specifically Central Eastern Botatwe speakers—in south central Africa. The invention of a new landscape category, isokwe, and the novel status of seasonal technicians marked the development of a virile, sexualized masculinity available to some men; but it was also a status with deeply sensuous, material, and social meanings for women.

Keywords: fishing, gender, hunting, indigenous knowledge, technology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: Africa, Central Africa

Year: 2017

Gender, Climate Change and REDD+ in the Congo Basin Forests of Central Africa

Citation:

Peach Brown, H.C. 2011. “Gender, Climate Change and REDD+ in the Congo Basin Forests of Central Africa.” International Forestry Review 13 (2): 163–76.

Author: H.C. Peach Brown

Keywords: Congo Basin, climate change, REDD+, gender, africa

Annotation:

Summary: 
The Congo Basin region of Central Africa contains the second largest contiguous tropical rainforest in the world, which is an important source of livelihood for millions of people. It is also important for climate change adaptation, as well as mitigation policies Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Men and women relate to and use the forest differently and so may experience the effects of climate change REDD+ policies differently. Investigations through semi-structured interviews and document reviews in three countries of the region revealed that women have had limited participation in discussion on issues of climate change or REDD+. There is some evidence that gender consideration will become part of future national REDD+ strategies. Strategies to foster the effective participation of all stakeholders are essential to ensure that gender dimensions are addressed in issues of climate change, forest access, forest management and distribution of carbon benefits. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa

Year: 2011

Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice

Citation:

Le Masson, Virginie. 2016. “Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice.” Working Paper, BRACED Knowledge Manager, London.

Author: Virginie Le Masson

Annotation:

Summary: 
This paper presents a synthesis of four case studies documenting strategies towards building gender equality through resilience projects. It draws on the experience of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the implementation of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) projects: Mercy Corps (Uganda), ActionAid (Myanmar), Concern (Sudan/Chad) and Christian Aid and King’s College London (Burkina Faso). The analysis also reflects on discussions held during a writeshop that brought together NGO practitioners, donor representatives and researchers, to examine different approaches to integrate gender and social equality as part of efforts to build communities’ resilience to climate change and disasters. 
 
The papers seeks to document how gender inequalities manifest themselves in all four contexts affected by climate change; how gender is conceptualised in project theories of change (ToCs); the operationalisation of objectives to tackle gender inequalities; internal and external obstacles to the implementation of gender-sensitive activities; and drivers that help NGOs transform gender relations and build resilience. 
 
The four case studies describe how disasters and climate change affect gender groups in different ways and also underscore the patriarchal social norms that disproportionately restrict women and girls’ equal access to rights and resources. The resulting inequalities are likely to undermine women and girls’ resilience, and ultimately that of their households and communities – an assumption that underpins projects’ ToCs. Hence, projects that aim to enhance people’s resilience capacities have to recognise social diversities, inequalities and their inter-sectionality. If they fail to do so, they risk further marginalising and undermining the capacities of those who lack access to decision-making or experience discrimination. 
 
Based on lessons from NGOs’ experience, and challenges they face in the particular contexts where they operate, this papers aims to inform practitioners on how to draw on promising practices to make resilience projects inclusive and equitable. It also provides a set of recommendations to point out areas where further research is required to increase understanding of resilience to climate extremes and longer-term changes, and to suggest how donors and funding can best support efforts to build communities’ resilience. 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, intersectionality, Households, NGOs Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Myanmar, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2016

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

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