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Southern Africa

Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women

Citation:

The WoMin Collective. 2017. “Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 421-37.

Author: The WoMin Collective

Abstract:

This article focuses on the right of consent for women and their communities in respect of extractives and large-scale (or ‘mega’) infrastructure projects that affect their access to, and control over, land and natural resources indispensable to their lives and livelihoods. As we point out, the right of consent is determined by prevailing deeply unequal power structures. Poor women confront a double exclusion from power and decision-making about land and resource use – on the basis of both their class and gender. The political economy of power and vested interest surrounding these projects at all levels from the community to the international spheres mean that communities, and women within them, rarely enjoy the right of consent on a free, prior, informed, and ongoing basis. In addition, women are locked out of rights of land ownership in communities living under common property and this, combined with other patriarchal power relations in family and community, inhibits their voice and influence in community decision-making. This is the second exclusion they suffer, this time on the basis of their gender. Consent, even if legislated or institutionalised in policy and systems of state, corporate, or multilateral bodies is rarely granted but rather won through struggle and demand. The article will present an inspiring case in the South African context where unequal power has been inverted and a unique community, with women playing a leading role, has claimed the right of consent in practice through struggle. It concludes with some suggestions for the work needed to strengthen women’s rights of consent in respect of mega ‘development’ projects in Africa.

Keywords: resource extraction, land, Rights, women, gender, inequality, consent, development, exclusion, social struggle

Topics: Class, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017

Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment

Citation:

Dillon, Brian, and Alessandra Voena. 2018. “Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment.” Journal of Development Economics 135: 449-60.

Authors: Brian Dillon, Alessandra Voena

Abstract:

This paper examines the connection between widows' land inheritance rights and land investments in Zambia. We study whether the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood deters households from fallowing, applying fertilizer, and employing labor-intensive tillage techniques. Variation in inheritance by widows is based on customary village practices, which we observe in surveys of village leaders. Controlling for possible confounding factors, both OLS and IV estimates show lower levels of land investment by married couples in villages where widows do not inherit. Concern over prospective loss of land by the wives reduces investment in land quality even while the husband is alive.

Keywords: land tenure security, widowhood, land investment, gender discrimination, African development, farm productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

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

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

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

Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi

Citation:

Patel, Raj, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, and Laifolo Dakishoni. 2015. “Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 42 (1): 21-44.

Authors: Raj Patel, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, Laifolo Dakishoni

Abstract:

The Group of Eight Countries (G8) launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to improve nutritional outcomes through private sector involvement in agricultural development. The accession of Malawi to the Alliance reveals the assumptions behind the intervention. We show that while the New Alliance may seem to have little to do with nutrition, its emergence as a frame for the privatization of food and agriculture has been decades in the making, and is best understood as an outcome of a project of nutritionism. To highlight the failings of the approach, we present findings from the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative in northern Malawi, which has demonstrated success in combatting malnutrition through a combination of agroecological farming practices, community mobilization, women’s empowerment and changes in intrahousehold gender dynamics. Contrasting a political economic analysis of the New Alliance alongside that of the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative shows the difference between a concern with the gendered social context of malnutrition, and nutritionism. We conclude with an analysis of the ways that nutrition can play a part in interventions that are inimical, or conducive, to freedom. 

Keywords: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, agroecology, nutritionism, gender, Malawi, africa, food security, food sovereignty

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Political Economies, Privatization, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2015

The Importance of Gender Roles and Relations in Rural Agricultural Technology Development: A Case Study on Solar Fruit Drying in Mozambique

Citation:

Otte, Pia Piroschka, Lucas Daniel Tivana, Randi Phinney, Ricardo Bernardo, and Henrik Davidsson. 2018. “The Importance of Gender Roles and Relations in Rural Agricultural Technology Development: A Case Study on Solar Fruit Drying in Mozambique.” Gender, Technology and Development 22 (1): 40-58.

Authors: Pia Piroschka Otte, Lucas Daniel Tivana, Randi Phinney, Ricardo Bernardo, Henrik Davidsson

Abstract:

Many agricultural technology interventions that aim to improve farmers’ livelihoods focus on households as the unit of analysis and ignore gender roles that entail different benefits and costs for different household members. Agricultural projects have shown limited success where gender roles and relations were ignored and thus more gender sensitive research is needed in agricultural technology development to ensure social acceptance. In this study, we address this need by investigating the importance of gender roles and relations in the case of solar fruit drying in Mozambique. We apply a variety of gender sensitive participatory methods that enable farmers to actively take part in the technology development process. First results indicate that the costs and benefits of solar fruit drying are not shared equally between genders. Women have much less time available for using the solar fruit dryer. The data also indicate that certain steps in the solar fruit drying process are clearly gender divided. We finally discuss potential mechanisms that can be applied in agricultural technology projects that can create awareness of the risk to reproduce traditional gender roles and unequal relations in the development process of new agricultural technologies. 

Keywords: gender relations, gender roles, technology, development, solar fruit drying, Mozambique

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2018

Addressing Women in Climate Change Policies: A Focus on Selected East and Southern African Countries

Citation:

Nhamo, Godwell. 2014. “Addressing Women in Climate Change Policies: A Focus on Selected East and Southern African Countries.” Agenda 28 (3): 156-67.

Author: Godwell Nhamo

Abstract:

This Article responds to claims in the literature that gender mainstreaming is lacking in international and national climate change policy regimes. A scan of climate change policies from selected east and southern African countries was conducted to assess whether climate change policies include gender and women. The focus on women is deliberate given women’s greater vulnerability to climate change impacts than men. The research analysis used a framework modified from the United Nations Environment Programme’s (2011) recommendations on women’s needs in climate change. The main finding is that although the national policies reviewed are in their infancy, with the oldest, the National Policy on Climate Change for Namibia having been put in place only in 2010, the mainstreaming of women’s needs in climate change has gained momentum. However, the empowerment of women by climate change policy varies significantly from country to country.

Keywords: women, gender, mainstreaming, climate change policy, East and Southern Africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2014

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