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Agriculture

Locating Ecofeminism in Encounters with Food and Place

Citation:

Mallory, Chaone. 2013. “Locating Ecofeminism in Encounters with Food and Place.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1): 171–89.

Author: Chaone Mallory

Abstract:

This article explores the relationship between ecofeminism, food, and the philosophy of place. Using as example my own neighborhood in a racially integrated area of Philadelphia with a thriving local foods movement that nonetheless is nearly exclusively white and in which women are the invisible majority of purchasers, farmers, and preparers, the article examines what ecofeminism contributes to the discussion of racial, gendered, classed discrepancies regarding who does and does not participate in practices of locavorism and the local foods movement more broadly. Ecofeminism, it is argued here, with its focus on the ways that race, class, gender, and place are ontologically entangled, helps to highlight the ways identity and society are made and re-made through our encounters with food.

Keywords: ecofeminism, local foods, gender and raced embodiment, co-ops, community supported agriculture, philosophy of place

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Livelihoods, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

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

Coming Back Across the Fence: Masculinity and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture*

Citation:

Peter, Gregory, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, Susan Jarnagin, and Donna Bauer. 2000. “Coming Back Across the Fence: Masculinity and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture*.” Rural Sociology 65 (2): 215–33.

Authors: Gregory Peter, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, Susan Jarnagin, Donna Bauer

Abstract:

In this paper we explore the social construction of agricultural masculinity and its role in the transition to sustainable agriculture. We draw our evidence from a participatory qualitative study comparing members of the sustainable agriculture group Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) with their non-PFI neighbors. On the non-PFI farms, men more often rep- resented what we call monologic masculinity, a conventional masculinity with rigid and polarized gender expectations and strictly negotiated performances that make a clear distinction between men's and women's activities. The male farmers belonging to PFI, on the other hand, more often represented what we call dialogic masculinity, characterized by different measures for work and success than in monologic masculinity, less need for control over nature, and greater social openness. Although both are present to some extent in all male participants, we argue that acceptance of a more dialogic masculinity helps promote the transition to sustainable agriculture.

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2000

Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua

Citation:

Gonda, Noémi. 2017. “Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 69–76.

Author: Noémi Gonda

Annotation:

Summary: 
Noémi Gonda explores the role of the masculine figure of the cattle rancher in local explorations of climate change adaptation in Nicaragua. Cattle ranchers generally refuse to take part in local projects that encourage cocoa production because it jeopardizes the traditional normative rural masculinity associated with cattle ranchers. Using a case study in El Pijibay, Gonda argues that many climate change projects fail because they do not take the rural population’s gendered subjectivities into account. Instead, these failed projects reinforce both existing inequalities and their intersection with environmental degradation. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2017

Rural Male Suicide in Australia

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2012. “Rural Male Suicide in Australia.” Social Science & Medicine 74 (4): 515-22.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

The rate of suicide amongst Australia’s rural men is significantly higher than rural women, urban men or urban women. There are many explanations for this phenomenon including higher levels of social isolation, lower socio-economic circumstances and ready access to firearms. Another factor is the challenge of climate transformation for farmers. In recent times rural areas of Australia have been subject to intense climate change events including a significant drought that has lingered on for over a decade. Climate variability together with lower socio-economic conditions and reduced farm production has combined to produce insidious impacts on the health of rural men. This paper draws on research conducted over several years with rural men working on farms to argue that attention to the health and well-being of rural men requires an understanding not only of these factors but also of the cultural context, inequitable gender relations and a dominant form of masculine hegemony that lauds stoicism in the face of adversity. A failure to address these factors will limit the success of health and welfare programs for rural men.

Keywords: Australia, suicide, men, rural, gender relations, masculinity, climate, farming

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Mental Health Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2012

Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation

Citation:

Singh, Chandni. 2019. “Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation.” Migration and Development, March 15. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1589073.

Author: Chandni Singh

Abstract:

Rapid environmental change, increasing climate variability, land fragmentation, and underlying institutional lacunae have shaped rural livelihoods in India. Increasingly, rural-urban migration has been a significant livelihood strategy to manage risks, meet aspirations, and move out of increasingly unprofitable agriculture. I argue that this movement of people is changing shape household structures, and the metrics to assess these transitions, often through categories of male- and female-headed households, fall short in understanding the experiences and outcomes of migration. Using a household survey (n = 825) and life history interviews (n = 16) to study rural-urban migration in South India, I demonstrate that shifting household configurations due to migration and commuting have implications for the risk management strategies people undertake. This calls for an expanded understanding of the ‘household’, which captures the realities of multi-local households, and consequently, for an expanded conceptualisation of ‘local adaptation’. Such an understanding is sensitive to the ‘beyond-local’ flows and networks that shape household risk management behaviour and has implications for improving the effectiveness of climate change adaptation interventions.

Keywords: migration, aspirations, intra-household dynamics, gender, adaptation, India, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

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

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