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Climate Change

Women in Selected Rural Municipalities: Resilience and Agency against Vulnerabilities to Climate Change

Citation:

Meyiwa, Thenjiwe, Thandokazi Maseti, Sizani Ngubane, Tebello Letsekha, and Carina Rozani. 2014. “Women in Selected Rural Municipalities: Resilience and Agency against Vulnerabilities to Climate Change.” Agenda 28 (3): 102-14.

Authors: Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Thandokazi Maseti, Sizani Ngubane, Tebello Letsekha, Carina Rozani

Abstract:

The role of rural women in eradicating poverty and ending hunger has been recognised by both scholars and practitioners. There is an acknowledgement that women serve a critical role in the agricultural labour force, subsistence farming, and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa, yet their central role in food security has been largely ignored, particularly in policy (Govender, 2012). Although much of the labour of rural women is not nationally defined as economically active employment these women still spend long hours in undervalued productive and reproductive work to ensure the well-being of their households. Linked to this role is the challenge of dealing with rapidly changing climatic conditions. Women assume primary responsibility in fetching water and wood for meal preparation, and in tilling the ground. They are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change as a result of their precarious environmental livelihoods. Using data from a workshop with rural women to discuss climate change and qualitative interviews with rural women in selected rural communities in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal we explore the meaning of climate change. We report on the way climate change is understood, its effects on rural livelihoods and some responses to climate change problems experienced by the women in the communities. The women in the rural communities highlight that there are also social problems that have arisen from water scarcity. As a result of the household division of labour, rural girls confront particular challenges as they need to search further from home for water and are exposed to the risk of gender violence.

Keywords: rural women, Resilience, vulnerabilities, policy lessons, gender and climate change

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Gender Differences in Use and Preferences of Agricultural Information Sources in Pakistan

Citation:

Lamontagne-Godwin, J., F. E. Williams, N. Aslam, S. Cardey, P. Dorward, and M. Almas. 2018. “Gender Differences in Use and Preferences of Agricultural Information Sources in Pakistan.” The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 24 (5): 419-34.

Authors: J. Lamontagne-Godwin, F.E. Williams, N. Aslam, S. Cardey, P. Dorward, M. Almas

Abstract:

Purpose: Rural advisory services ensure agricultural information is disseminated to rural populations, yet they are less accessible to women. This research provides insight on gender differences in information access by investigating frequency of use and preference of agricultural information sources by gender in a rural setting, differentiated according to literacy and age. 
Design/Methodology/approach: This study interviewed 401 male/female individuals in farm households in Jhang and Bahawalpur district of Punjab, Pakistan in 2016. 
Findings: Men and women farmers’ use and preferences in accessing information sources are extremely different. Women hardly use sources for agricultural information, and value interpersonal communication from informal sources. In contrast, men use and value official agencies more. Radio, surprisingly, was very rarely used, contradicting previous findings of research elsewhere. Age and literacy affect differences between women more than it does between men, particularly for convenient locations to access information.
Practical implications: The study identified and refined major gender differences regarding use and preference for agricultural information in relation to age and literacy, and helps to articulate options to improve gender equality of access to agricultural information in Pakistan. 
Theoretical implications: The focus and outcomes regarding gender intersecting with age and literacy in agricultural information access imply the need for more refined socioeconomic models, discerning and interrelating gender and other social dimensions beyond the standard of male-headed households. 
Originality/value: This paper adds to the growing body of evidence on information access according to gender, highlighting the need to investigate deeper socio-cultural issues around age and literacy.

Keywords: age, literacy, socio-cultural norms, agricultural information access, gender, rural advisory services, Pakistan

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2018

Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda

Citation:

Kayigema, Vincent, and Denis Rugege. 2014. “Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda.” Agenda 28 (3): 53-64.

Authors: Vincent Kayigema, Denis Rugege

Abstract:

The Girinka ‘one cow per poor family’ programme has been implemented in Rwanda since 2006 to contribute towards poverty reduction, reduction of child malnutrition as well as to promote climate resilience among poor rural families. Under the programme, every family whose local community confirms it meets national criteria of being poor receives one dairy cow. Impacts of the Girinka programme on female beneficiaries for increasing livelihood options and enabling food security in the drought-prone Bugesera District as well as its potential contribution to climate resilience were assessed. The specific focus was whether the Girinka programme assists female beneficiaries to better cope with climate change in Bugesera District. The key consideration is the extent to which interventions reduce women’s vulnerability to climate change impacts. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in this study. One hundred and thirty three female beneficiaries were interviewed and four focus group discussions held. The key findings of the study show that the one cow per poor family resulted in expanded land use, improved household nutrition and food security. Changes in agricultural practices resulting from the use of green fertiliser contributed to climate change resilience, increased crop production and generated income for poor rural women. The study reveals that while the government energy policy prioritises biogas energy production and the use of cow dung for biogas energy generation to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere for climate resilience, few respondents in the study could afford to buy biodigesters. Direct benefits for women who are responsible for energy and the collection of wood for their households are not yet being reaped and depend on affordable biodigesters. The main problems reported by respondents were inadequate veterinary services for care of the cow, the frequent search for water sources during droughts and insufficient land to grow fodder.

Keywords: climate change, climate resilience, Girinka programme, Rwanda, women

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2014

Gender Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Household Food Insecurity

Citation:

Kakota, Tasokwa, Dickson Nyariki, David Mkwambisi, and Wambui Kogi-Makau. 2011. “Gender Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Household Food Insecurity.” Climate and Development 3 (4): 298-309.

Authors: Tasokwa Kakota, Dickson Nyariki, David Mkwambisi, Wambui Kogi-Makau

Abstract:

Climate variability presents different challenges for men and for women in their efforts to ensure household food security. However, despite their central role, gender issues have received only cursory attention in adaptation studies. This article looks at causes of gender vulnerability to climate variability and household food insecurity in one sub-Saharan African country: Malawi. Data were collected through a household questionnaire survey, focus group discussions and key informants’ interviews in Chikhwawa and Ntcheu districts, located in the southern and central areas of Malawi. Results revealed that exposure and sensitivity to climate risks vary between men and women; therefore, each gender responds differently to climate risks, with men having more opportunities than women. The results highlight the need for policies and interventions to empower women in the access to resources that can strengthen households’ resilience to climate variability. 

Keywords: adaptation, climate variability, food insecurity, gender, Malawi, vulnerability, africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Understanding Gender Dimensions of Agriculture and Climate Change in Smallholder Farming Communities

Citation:

Jost, Christine, Florence Kyazze, Jesse Naab, Sharmind Neelormi, James Kinyangi, Robert Zougmore, Pramod Aggarwal, Gopal Bhatta, Moushumi Chaudhury, Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Sibyl Nelson, and Patti Kristjanson. 2016. “Understanding Gender Dimensions of Agriculture and Climate Change in Smallholder Farming Communities.” Climate and Development 8 (2): 133-44.

Authors: Christine Jost, Florence Kyazze, Jesse Naab, Sharmind Neelormi, James Kinyangi, Robert Zougmore, Pramod Aggarwal, Gopal Bhatta, Moushumi Chaudhury, Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Sibyl Nelson, Patti Kristjanson

Abstract:

In Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh, participatory tools were used for a socio-economic and gender analysis of three topics: climate-smart agriculture (CSA), climate analogue approaches, and climate and weather forecasting. Policy and programme relevant results were obtained. Smallholders are changing agricultural practices due to observations of climatic and environmental change. Women appear to be less adaptive because of financial or resource constraints, because of male domination in receiving information and extension services and because available adaptation strategies tend to create higher labour loads for women. The climate analogue approach (identifying places resembling your future climate so as to identify potential adaptations) is a promising tool for increasing farmer-to-farmer learning, where a high degree of climatic variability means that analogue villages that have successfully adopted new CSA practices exist nearby. Institutional issues related to forecast production limit their credibility and salience, particularly in terms of women’s ability to access and understand them. The participatory tools used in this study provided some insights into women’s adaptive capacity in the villages studied, but not to the depth necessary to address women’s specific vulnerabilities in CSA programmes. Further research is necessary to move the discourse related to gender and climate change beyond the conceptualization of women as a homogenously vulnerable group in CSA programmes.

Keywords: gender, participation, climate change, agriculture, smallholders

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Uganda

Year: 2016

Challenges and Possibilities for Achieving Household Food Security in the Western Sudan Region: The Role of Female Farmers

Citation:

Ibnouf, Fatma Osman. 2011. “Challenges and Possibilities for Achieving Household Food Security in the Western Sudan Region: The Role of Female Farmers.” Food Security 3 (2): 215-31.

Author: Fatma Osman Ibnouf

Abstract:

This paper investigates the role of women in achieving household food security in the Western Region of Sudan, an area much affected by the impacts of drought and civil conflicts. The study is based on a quantitative survey and qualitative focus group discussions, supported by personal observations made during fieldwork. Additionally, the study draws upon secondary data that is publicly available. Results demonstrate that women play a major role in producing and providing food for their households in this high-risk climate and conflict area, while men are more likely to migrate seasonally and even permanently. In addition, women are responsible for food preparation, processing, and food preservation and are wholly responsible for attending to household garden plots. They therefore contribute more to household food security than men, though this contribution is not recognized in official statistics. The study findings indicate that the main problems women face as food producers and providers are a lack of access to the full package of improved production methods (improved seeds, fertilizers, modern farming methods, credit services, pesticides, appropriate technologies, and marketing facilities), in addition to gender disparities and gender-biased traditions. The impacts of natural crises and civil conflicts are gendered and therefore the responses to these crises must be gender responsive. Holistic and strategic policies and plans that take gender issues into account are thus needed in order to achieve food security.

Keywords: Sudan, women, gender, migration, food security

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2011

Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture

Citation:

Huyer, Sophia. 2016. “Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture.” Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 105-16.

Author: Sophia Huyer

Abstract:

Agriculture is the largest employment sector for 60% of women in Oceania, Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and women make up 2/3 of the world’s 600 million small livestock managers. Despite this, women’s activities in agriculture are characterised by a global gender gap in vulnerabilities, access to resources, and productivity. As a result of these differences, women and men farmers in developing countries have different abilities to adapt to climate change. But addressing gender inequalities in agriculture to address climate change involves more than erasing inequities in access to resources. The question of whether women have control of these resources; whether they participate in use of and decisions around the accrued benefits of increased production and income, and whether resources meet their requirements and priorities, will all determine whether the gender gap in agriculture is closed. It also involves ensuring that women’s needs and priorities are met, in terms of how priorities are set, modes of support and resources. Technologies to support resilience and adaptation to climate change by smallholder farmers can promote women’s empowerment and the transformation of gender relations in addition to sustainably increasing agricultural production. But this will only happen if they are implemented in a framework of mutually reinforcing resources, women’s control of assets, equitable decisionmaking between women and men, and strengthened capacity.

Keywords: women, gender, agriculture, climate change, technology, assets, equality

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods

Year: 2016

Gender-Responsive Rural Climate Services: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Gumucio, Tatiana, James Hansen, Sophia Huyer, and Tiff van Huysen. 2019. “Gender-Responsive Rural Climate Services: A Review of the Literature.” Climate and Development, May 22. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2019.1613216

Authors: Tatiana Gumucio, James Hansen, Sophia Huyer, Tiff van Huysen

Abstract:

The review assesses the empirical knowledge base on gender-based differences in access, use and benefits from rural climate services to analyse gender equality challenges and identify pathways for making climate services more responsive to the needs of rural women and men. While existing research is limited, the review identifies key gender-related factors and processes that influence inequalities in access and use. Differential access to group processes and to Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) can significantly limit women’s access to weather and climate information. Moreover, socio-cultural norms that define women’s and men’s labour roles can also influence the resources and decisions under women’s and men’s control, affecting their differing climate information needs and demand. Ways forward suggested by the literature concern inclusion of women’s groups and networks in communication channels and development of ICTs that respond to women’s preferences. Furthermore, meeting women’s climate information needs and pursuing cross-sectoral collaboration will be important to enhance action on climate information. Research opportunities include analyses of the potential for women’s and mixed-gender groups to enhance women’s access to climate information; evaluation of the communication processes that improve women’s understanding of climate information; and further connection with the body of knowledge on intra-household decision-making processes.

Keywords: climate services, gender, agriculture, empowerment, climate risk

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Livelihoods

Year: 2019

Climate Change, "Technology" and Gender: "Adapting Women" to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs

Citation:

Gonda, Noémi. 2016. “Climate Change, ‘Technology’ and Gender: ‘Adapting Women’ to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs.” Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 149-68.

Author: Noémi Gonda

Abstract:

In the countries most affected by climate change, such as Nicaragua, adaptation technologies are promoted with the twofold aim of securing the livelihoods of rural women and men while reducing the climate-related risks they face. Although researchers and practitioners are usually aware that not every “technology” may be beneficial, they do not sufficiently take into account the injustices that these adaptation technologies could (re)produce. Inspired by the works of feminist scholars engaged in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), this article attempts to demonstrate the need to broaden the debate on gender-sensitive climate change adaptation technologies. I argue that, first and foremost, this debate must question the potentially oppressive effects of the climate change narratives that call for technological solutions. Second, I urge feminist researchers and practitioners to denounce the counter-productive effects of adaptation technologies that impede the transformation of the “traditional” gender roles. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork in rural Nicaragua, this article calls for rethinking the role of climate change adaptation technologies in offering possibilities for challenging gender inequalities.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, gender roles, intersectionality, feminist perspective, cooking stoves, water reservoirs, Nicaragua, climate change adaptation

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2016

Women's Coping and Adaptation Capacities in Pastoralist Communities in Africa: Dealing with Climate Variability and Change

Citation:

Furusa, Zanele, and Munashe Furusa. 2014. “Women's Coping and Adaptation Capacities in Pastoralist Communities in Africa: Dealing with Climate Variability and Change.” Agenda 28 (3): 65-72.

Authors: Zanele Furusa, Munashe Furusa

Abstract:

African women, particularly in eastern, western, and northern Africa, still engage in pastoralism as a key livelihood strategy. Pastoralism as it is practised in this part of Africa largely involves the rearing of livestock in climate sensitive and vulnerable environments. Research on pastoralism in Africa identifies climate change as a major factor that adversely impacts pastoral women’s livelihood, thus challenging them to develop coping mechanisms to minimise the effects of resultant stresses and shocks. Such coping and adaptive strategies are dependent on several socially differentiated variables which include entitlements and assets, health status and disability, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion and gender. This Briefing is a desk-top study of climate change adaptation among pastoralist women in Africa. The study indicates that women tend to interact with the environment and with livestock (in relation to pastoralism) in ways that differ from men: women have lower coping and adaptive capacities to climate variability and change compared to men. It is therefore imperative that appropriate policies and strategies be developed to improve adaptive capacities among women in these communities.

Keywords: pastoralism, vulnerability, environmental risks, coping strategies, agency

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

Year: 2014

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