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Food Security

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

Understanding the Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Households in Rural Victorian Towns in the Context of Long-Term Water Insecurity

Citation:

Stebbing, M.S., M. Carey, M. Sinclair, and M. Sim. 2013. “Understanding the Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Households in Rural Victorian Towns in the Context of Long-Term Water Insecurity.” Australasian Journal of Water Resources 17 (2): 193-201.

Authors: M. S. Stebbing, M. Carey, M. Sinclair, M. Sim

Abstract:

While the range of impacts of a changing climate on farming communities has been extensively studied in Australia, little is known about how individuals and households in small rural towns adapt to the effects of long-term water insecurity. The health and wellbeing impacts of climate variability may be experienced as direct or indirect health impacts or as reduced access to health and other services as reduced economic viability affects rural towns. Identifying risk factors for vulnerability and local measures and practices that will reduce health and wellbeing impacts offers evidence for climate change adaptation policy direction at the local, state and national level. This paper discusses the results of a study that aimed to improve understanding of the vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of rural communities at the household scale. Focus groups with town residents and key informant interviews were conducted in three rural towns in Western Victoria experiencing differing water security challenges during a period of “drought”. Perceived health and wellbeing impacts and the differing ways in which residents adapted their lives to accommodate these changes were explored. The study revealed a range of physical, mental, oral health and food security impacts on health and wellbeing. There were clear gender differences in the ways that men and women identified, communicated and dealt with these impacts. Perceived water quality and cost were shown to be key determinants of acceptance of the small town reticulated water supply. The results of this study suggest that a history of conservatism, degree of community connectedness and communication, the small town ethic of self-reliance, and the openness of government to community involvement in decision making, planning and action around water supplies are important factors in determining resilience to threats to water security in small rural towns. 

Keywords: water security, water-supply, rural, water use, climate change adaptation

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Security, Food Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2013

Women and the Gendered Politics of Food

Citation:

Shiva, Vandana. 2009. “Women and the Gendered Politics of Food.” Philosophical Topics 37 (2): 17-32. 

Author: Vandana Shiva

Abstract:

From seed to table, the food chain is gendered.

When seeds and food are in women's hands, seeds reproduce and multiply freely, food is shared freely and respected. However, women's seed and food economy has been discounted as "productive work." Women's seed and food knowledge has been discounted as knowledge.

Globalization has led to the transfer of seed and food from women's hands to corporate hands. Seed is now patented and genetically engineered. It is treated as the creation and "property" of corporations like Monsanto. Renewable seed becomes nonrenewable. Sharing and saving seed becomes a crime. Diversity, nourished by centuries of women's breeding, disappears, and with it the culture and natural evolution that is embodied in the diversity is lost forever.

Food, too, is transformed in corporate hands. It is no longer our nourishment; it becomes a commodity. And as a commodity it can be manipulated and monopolized. If food grain makes more money as cattle feed than it does as food for human consumption, it becomes cattle feed. If food grain converted to biofuel to run automobiles is more profitable, it becomes ethanol and biodiesel.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Globalization, Political Economies, Security, Food Security

Year: 2009

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

Uncultivated Biodiversity in Women’s Hand: How to Create Food Sovereignty

Citation:

Patria, Hayu Dyah. 2013. “Uncultivated Biodiversity in Women’s Hand: How to Create Food Sovereignty.” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 19 (2): 148-61.

Author: Hayu Dyah Patria

Abstract:

Most of the world’s food is grown, collected, and harvested by over 2.5 billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest dwellers and fisherfolk, of which more than half are women. Women’s knowledge and labor play a key role in sustaining the many diverse, local food systems that still exist today throughout the world. Mantasa is an independent organization in Indonesia that works on edible wild plants. Biodiversity is the key to food sovereignty and women are the holders of knowledge and wisdom related to utilization of natural resources for their livelihood. Galengdowo village, discussed here, is a successful case where women use edible wild plants to sustain their food sovereignty.

Keywords: edible wild plants, food sovereignty, women's role, biodiversity, traditional knowledge, Galengdowo village

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2013

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

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