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Gendered Mobilities and Immobilities: Women's and Men's Capacities for Agricultural Innovation in Kenya and Nigeria


Bergman Lodin, Johanna, Amare Tegbaru, Renee Bullock, Ann Degrande, Lilian Wopong Nkengla, and Hyeladi Ibrahim Gaya. 2019. "Gendered Mobilities and Immobilities: Women's and Men's Capacities for Agricultural Innovation in Kenya and Nigeria." Gender, Place & Culture 26 (12): 1759-83.

Authors: Johanna Bergman Lodin , Amare Tegbaru, Renee Bullock, Ann Degrande, Lilian Wopong Nkengla, Hyeladi Ibrahim Gaya


Social norms surrounding women’s and men’s mobility in public spaces often differ. Here we discuss how gendered mobilities and immobilities influence women’s and men’s capacities to innovate in agriculture. We analyze four case studies from Western Kenya and Southwestern Nigeria that draw on 28 focus group discussions and 32 individual interviews with a total of 225 rural and peri-urban women, men and youth. Findings show that women in both sites are less mobile than men due to norms that delimit the spaces where they can go, the purpose, length of time and time of day of their travels. Overall, Kenyan women and Nigerian men have better access to agricultural services and farmer groups than their gendered counterparts. In Southwestern Nigeria this is linked to masculine roles of heading and providing for the household and in Western Kenya to the construction of women as the ‘developers’ of their households. Access and group participation may reflect norms and expectations to fulfill gender roles rather than an individual’s agency. This may (re)produce mobility pressures on time constrained gendered subjects. Frameworks to analyze factors that support women’s and men’s agency should be used to understand how gendered mobilities and immobilities are embedded in community contexts and affect engagement in agricultural innovation. This can inform the design of interventions to consider the ways in which norms and agency intersect and influence women’s and men’s mobilities, hence capacity to innovate in agriculture, thus supporting more gender transformative approaches.

Keywords: gender, mobility, agriculture, innovation, Kenya, Nigeria

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Households, Infrastructure Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Nigeria

Year: 2019

Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform


Jacobs, Susie. 1998. "Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform." European Journal of Development Research 10 (2): 70-87.

Author: Susie Jacobs


South Africa's agrarian situation presents a range of daunting issues, including extreme rural poverty & a government hindered by severe financial constraints. At the same time, the country's attempts to incorporate gender issues into land reform are virtually unique. Discussed here are several major issues confronting the present pilot programs operating in 9 provinces & any future reform: demand for land; demand for services; the issue of "the household"; traditional authorities; forms of land tenure; & the nature of public participation. It is stressed that all of these are gender issues, as is the extent of conflict raised through overt discussion of gender processes. None of these questions has a straightforward answer, but their consideration is likely to raise additional questions.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Analysis, Land Tenure, Households, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

Partners in Conflict: the Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973


Tinsman, Heidi. 2002. Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Heidi Tinsman


Partners in Conflict examines the importance of sexuality and gender to rural labor and agrarian politics during the last days of Chile’s latifundia system of traditional landed estates and throughout the governments of Eduardo Frei and Salvador Allende. Heidi Tinsman analyzes differences between men’s and women’s participation in Chile’s Agrarian Reform movement and considers how conflicts over gender and sexuality shape the contours of working-class struggles and national politics.
Tinsman restores women to a scholarly narrative that has been almost exclusively about men, recounting the centrality of women’s labor to the pre-Agrarian Reform world of the hacienda  during the 1950s and recovering women’s critical roles in union struggles and land occupations during the Agrarian Reform itself. Providing a theoretical framework for understanding why the Agrarian Reform ultimately empowered men more than women, Tinsman argues that women were marginalized not because the Agrarian Reform ignored women but because, under both the Frei and Allende governments, it promoted the male-headed household as the cornerstone of a new society. Although this emphasis on gender cooperation stressed that men should have more respect for their wives and funneled unprecedented amounts of resources into women’s hands, the reform defined men as its protagonists and affirmed their authority over women.
This is the first monographic social history of Chile’s Agrarian Reform in either English or Spanish, and the first historical work to make sexuality and gender central to the analysis of the reforms. (Summary from Duke University Press)
Table of Contents
1. Patrón and peón: labor and authority on the great estates 
2. Binding ties: campesino sexuality and family negotiations
3. Making men: labor mobilization and agrarian reform
4. Promoting gender mutualism: rural education, mothers centers, and family planning
5. Struggling for land: worker bosses and campesina militants
6. Revolutionizing women: popular unity and female mobilization
7. Coming apart: struggle, sex, and social crisis.


Topics: Agriculture, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Education, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2002

Examining Climate Change and Food Security in Ghana through an Intersectional Framework


Wood, Alexa L., Prince Ansah, Louie Rivers III, and Arika Ligmann-Zielinska. 2019. “Examining Climate Change and Food Security in Ghana through an Intersectional Framework.” The Journal of Peasant Studies. doi:10.1080/03066150.2019.1655639.

Authors: Alexa L. Wood, Prince Ansah, Louie Rivers III, Arika Ligmann-Zielinska


As the effects of climate change intensify, subsistence farmers in Ghana are expected to face increased food insecurity, due to their reliance on rainfed agriculture. Within households, young women are expected to support all aspects of household food security, and will experience a more burdensome load of labor, as a dwindling stock of natural resources will make daily tasks more time consuming. The intersection of age, gender, and location inhibits young women's decision-making responsibilities and wage-earning potential. Climate change exacerbates this dynamic, which restricts opportunities to acquire sufficient food and places increased stress on household food systems.

Keywords: climate change, food security, intersectionality, Ghana, farming

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2019

Rural Women’s Livelihoods in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Connection between Participation in Agriculture and Care Work across the Life Course


Gunawardana, Samanthi Jayasekara. 2018. “Rural Women’s Livelihoods in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Connections between Participation in Agriculture and Care Work across the Life-Course.” Monash Gender Peace and Security Centre Research Papers 1/2018, Monash University, Melbourne.

Author: Samanthi Jayasekara Gunawardana


This working paper explores the relationship between participation in rural agricultural livelihoods and unpaid care work across the life course of rural Sri Lankan women. This research was conducted as part of an Oxfam-Monash Partnership2 that set out to explore the barriers and enablers for rural women’s participation and recognition in agricultural livelihoods in post-war Sri Lanka. Our study shows that rural Sri Lankan women’s participation in agriculture dropped to the lowest levels when they had young children. Paradoxically, their engagement in any other non-agricultural livelihood activity peaked at this time in their lives. Activities included home-based non-agricultural production, garment productin, self-employment, and migration on temporary labour contracts. Thus, women did not exit livelihood activities altogether when they had children. Rather they took up non-agricultural work. Once women were in their 40s, participation in agriculture again increased for our sample.

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Care Economies, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2018

Introduction: Land Rights, Restitution, Politics, and War in Colombia


Cramer, Christopher, and Elisabeth Jean Wood. 2017. "Introduction: Land Rights, Restitution, Politics, and War in Colombia." Journal of Agrarian Change 17 (4): 733-8.

Authors: Christopher Cramer, Elisabeth Jean Wood


This paper introduces contributions to a symposium that report some of the findings and arguments to emerge from a collaborative research project involving five Colombian universities forming the Observatorio de Restitución y Regulación de Derechos de Propiedad Agraria (Observatory of Restitution and Regulation of Agrarian Property Rights). In a number of ways, the research presented in the symposium advances understanding of the political economy of rural Colombia, and of war in Colombia, and the papers, drawing on the original evidence collected by Observatorio researchers, develop arguments that have a wider relevance too for agrarian political economy and the understanding of violent conflict. In particular, the papers highlight the direct participation of elites in violent conflict; the varieties and nuances of wartime primitive accumulation; the complexities of the state's role in wartime agrarian political economy; the gender dimensions of agrarian conflict; the interaction of war and law; and the significance for service provision of farm size. As Colombia—hopefully—passes from long war to peace, these arguments and this evidence may be valuable in debates about what kind of peace can develop.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2017

Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia


Sachs, Carolyn E., ed. 2019. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Carolyn E. Sachs


Summary from Routledge:
This book presents research from across the globe on how gender relationships in agriculture are changing.
In many regions of the world, agricultural transformations are occurring through increased commodification, new value-chains, technological innovations introduced by CGIAR and other development interventions, declining viability of small-holder agriculture livelihoods, male out-migration from rural areas, and climate change. This book addresses how these changes involve fluctuations in gendered labour and decision making on farms and in agriculture and, in many places, have resulted in the feminization of agriculture at a time of unprecedented climate change. Chapters uncover both how women successfully innovate and how they remain disadvantaged when compared to men in terms of access to land, labor, capital and markets that would enable them to succeed in agriculture. Building on case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia, the book interrogates how new agricultural innovations from agricultural research, new technologies and value chains reshape gender relations.
Using new methodological approaches and intersectional analyses, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of agriculture, gender, sustainable development and environmental studies more generally.
Table of Contents
1. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations
Carolyn Sachs
2. The Implications of Gender Relations for Modern Approaches to Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding
Jacqueline Ashby and Vivian Polar
3. Change in the Making: 1970s and 1980s Building Stones to Gender Integration in CGIAR Agricultural Research
Margreet van der Burg
4. How to Do Gender Research? Feminist Perspectives on Gender Research in Agriculture
Ann R. Tickamyer and Kathleen Sexsmith
5. Intersectionality at the Gender-Agriculture Nexus: Relational Life Histories and Additative Sex-Disaggregated Indices
Stephanie Leder and Carolyn Sachs
6. Diversity of Small-Scale Maize Farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala: Integrating Gender into Farm Typologies
Tania Carolina Camacho-Villa, Luis Barba-Escoto, Juan Burgueño-Ferreira, Ann Tickamyer, Leland Glenna, and Santiago López-Ridaura
7. "A Bird Locked in a Cage:" Hmong Young Women’s Lives After Marriage in Northern Vietnam
Nozomi Kawarazuka, Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Vu Xuan Thai and Pham Huu Thuong
8. Defeminizing Effect: How Improved Dairy Technology Adoption Affected Women's and Men's Time Allocation and Milk Income Share in Ethiopia
Birhanu Megersa Lenjiso
9. Implementing "Gender Equity" in Livestock Interventions: Caught between Patriarchy and Paternalism?
Katie Tavenner and Todd A. Crane
10. Implications of Agricultural Innovations on Gender Norms: Gender Approaches in Aquatic Agriculture in Bangladesh
Lemlem Aregu, Afrina Choudhury, Surendran Rajaratnam, Margreet van der Burg, and Cynthia McDougall
11. Permanently Seasonal Workers: Gendered Labor Relations and Working Conditions of Asparagus Agricultural Workers in Ica, Perú
María del Rosario Castro Bernardini
12. Gender Equality and Trees on Farms: Considerations for Implementation of Climate-Smart Agriculture
Tatiana Gumucio, Diksha Arora, Jennifer Twyman, Ann Tickamyer, and Monica Clavijo
13. Kinship Structures, Gender, and Groundnut Productivity in Malawi
Edward Bikketi, Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Leif Jensen, and Edna Johnny
14. Changes in Participation of Women in Rice Value Chains: Implications for Control over Decision-Making
Sujata Ganguly, Leif Jensen, Samarendu Mohanty, Sugandha Munshi, Arindam Samaddar, Swati Nayak, and Prakashan Cehllattan Veettil

Topics: Class, Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, Central America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, Peru, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Food Security in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the Nexus between Gender, Geography and Off-Farm Employment


Dzanku, Fred Mawunyo. 2019. “Food Security in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the Nexus between Gender, Geography and Off-Farm Employment.” World Development 113: 26–43.

Author: Fred Mawunyo Dzanku


How to eradicate hunger and achieve food security remains a key developmental issue, particular in countries south of the Sahara. Most of the empirical literature focuses on agriculture-based interventions although it is well known that rural households have a gamut of income generating activities that constitute their livelihood. This article uses panel data for six African countries to examine the association between off-farm income and household food security and tests key hypotheses that have not been previously explored. We hypothesize that the association between food security and off-farm income is neither gender-neutral nor the same for households living in low and high agroecological potential areas. Because a nontrivial number of households do not earn off-farm income, we also hypothesize that the food security effect of nonparticipation differs by gender and geography. The results show that although off-farm income has a strong statistically significant association with food security the correlation magnitudes are not as strong. However, off-farm income has a significantly stronger association with food security among female-headed and poor region households than it has among male-headed and rich region households in most countries. The gender-related result supports the notion that households tend to benefit more from women's greater control over resources than when such resources are controlled by men. We also show that nonparticipation in off-farm income is more costly, food security wise, for female-headed households and households who live in low agroecological potential regions than it is for male-headed households and those who live in high potential regions. The rural nonfarm sector in high agroecological potential areas tends to be associated with greater poverty reduction among female-headed households than among male-headed households. From a policy and development practice perspective, the results suggest that focusing rural development policies on factors that raise farm productivity alone (e.g., input subsidies) may not lead to gender-neutral welfare outcomes. This means that interventions such as rural nonfarm microcredit schemes that targets female-headed households or women in general could help achieve gender-equitable poverty reduction, as others have shown.

Keywords: Sub- Saharan Africa, off-farm employment, gender, geography, food security, panel data

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia

Year: 2019

Effects of Armed Conflict on Agricultural Markets and Post-conflict Engagement of Women in Export-led Agriculture in Nepal


Upreti, Bishnu Raj, Yamuna Ghale, and Sony KC. 2016. "Effects of Armed Conflict on Agricultural Markets and Post-conflict Engagement of Women in Export-led Agriculture in Nepal." Journal of International Women's Studies, 18 (1): 156-80.

Authors: Bishnu Raj Upreti, Yamuna Ghale, Sony KC


Nepal entered into a new era after ending 10 years of civil war through signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government and the rebel radical Maoist party in November, 2006. Women’s positions were constitutionally secured and space widened for the engagement of women in the broad social, political and economic spheres. Therefore, the postconflict context provided tremendous opportunities for women to engage in high value commercial agricultural business. The main objectives of the study were a) to examine the effects of armed conflict on agricultural markets, and b) to analyse the state of women’s engagement in high value agricultural exports and its role in market revival. This study involved qualitative research to analyse women’s engagement in commercial agriculture with a specific focus on the marketing of large cardamom (Amomum Subulatum Roxb.), which does not include the small cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum, Maton). The main finding of this study is the proactive engagement of women in high value, low volume commercial agriculture and its positive contribution to the social, economic and political spheres at individual, households and community levels in Nepal. Women were recognised more in society once they engaged in commercial agriculture especially when they were members of cooperatives and in the position of sanctioning the loans as members of the executive committee to local people (including men). They were also offered political positions in the party structures. They were, comparatively, economically stronger and independent. However, while the government’s efforts were appreciated they were not able to secure better prices for the cash crops and tackle the disease problem. Women were not able to secure a better price in the study area due to lack of up-to-date market price information. Further, in the past 7-10 years their cardamom plants suffered heavily from disease (appearance of black spots on leaves, shrinking, and gradually drying of the leaves which people locally called ChhirkeFurke) affecting production. 

Keywords: export agriculture, women farmers, Nepal, post-conflict engagement

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2016

Cinderella and the Missing Slipper: Gender Dynamics in Water Management in the Coastal Region of Bangladesh


Bahauddin, Khalid Md., and Hamidul Huq. 2019. “Cinderella and the Missing Slipper: Gender Dynamics in Water Management in the Coastal Region of Bangladesh.” Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development 8 (4): 660–7.

Authors: Khalid Md. Bahauddin, Hamidul Huq


The water world is socially constructed, reflecting continuous gender inequalities and discrimination by those who hold dominant perspectives on water. This qualitative study was conducted in coastal areas of Bangladesh i.e. Bajua and Laodob union of Dacope upazilla of Khulna district. This study explored the gendered roles, responsibilities, and inequalities of access to and control over water management in the household, irrigation and agriculture. Results of this study lightened the importance of taking into account the complexity of power and negotiation in local water structures within women’s social realities. This study observed that there are considerable gender imbalance with regard to household activities, income generating activities, participation and mobility, ownership and control of resources, decision making power and involvement in different activities in the water management. The distinct roles and the relations between men and women may give rise to gender inequalities where one group is systematically favored and holds advantages over another. Therefore, gender mainstreaming in the water management is an integral dimension to bringing to light the concerns and experiences of both men and women. The study is convinced that dissemination of information with regards to the role of women in the water management and benefits of a gendered approach in the water sector has been neglected. There were inadequate research materials, especially locally in relation to gender, water management and women empowerment, indicating that there either has been not much research conducted to explore the top or there has been no proper documentation of research papers pertaining to the same. Possible areas of further research may include evaluating the gender mainstreaming strategies in the water and agriculture management in the southwest coastal regions of Bangladesh.

Keywords: coastal Bangladesh, gender, Inequalities, responsibility, role

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019


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