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Gender, Nutrition- and Climate-Smart Food Production: Opportunities and Trade-Offs

Citation:

Beuchelt, Tina Désirée, and Lone Badstue. 2013. “Gender, Nutrition- and Climate-Smart Food Production: Opportunities and Trade-Offs.” Food Security 5 (5): 709-21.

Authors: Tina Désirée Beuchelt , Lone Badstue

Abstract:

Future food and nutrition security is threatened by climate change, overexploitation of natural resources and pervasive social inequalities. Promising solutions are often technology-focused and not necessarily developed considering gender and social disparities. This paper addresses issues of gender and human development opportunities and trade- offs related to promoting improved technologies for agricultural development. We examined these aspects for conservation agriculture (CA) as part of a cropping system with nutrition- and climate-smart potential. The paper is based on a literature review and field experiences from Zambia and Mexico. Findings point up situations where the promotion of CA for smallholders in developing countries may have undesired effects from gender and human development perspectives, specifically relating to drudgery, nutrition and food security, residue use, assets, mechanization and extension. The direction and magnitude of potential trade-offs depend on the local context and the specific intervention. The analysis is followed by a discussion of opportunities and pathways for mitigating the trade-offs, including gender transformative approaches; engagement with alternative or non-traditional partners with different but complementary perspectives and strengths; “smart” combinations of technologies and approaches; and policies for inclusive development.

Keywords: Trade-offs, gender and social equity, agriculture, conservation agriculture, Technology diffusion

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Security, Food Security

Year: 2013

Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Elmhirst, Rebecca. 2015. “Feminist Political Ecology.” In The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology, edited by Tom Perreault, Gavin Bridge, and James McCarthy, 519–30. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

Feminist political ecology emerged as a subfield of Political Ecology in the 1990s, developing initially from gender and development studies, with which it shares a broad commitment to understanding the dynamics of gender in relation to the natural environment and in the context of natural resource-based livelihoods. As with Political Ecology more generally, Feminist Political Ecology (FPE hereafter) emphasizes politics and power at different scales, but goes further in highlighting gendered power relations, and in making an explicit commitment towards tackling gender disadvantage and inequality. FPE directs attention towards gendered processes within the politics of environmental degradation and conservation, the neoliberalization of nature and ongoing rounds of accumulation, enclosure and dispossession associated with each of these. Work within this field seeks to complicate arenas of assumed common interest, such as “community” and “household”, and to explore the connections between nature, gendered subject formation and the body. Of central interest are the gender dimensions of struggles over nature and the environment, and how might these intersect and be informed by feminist objectives, strategies and practices. Whilst FPE embraces a diversity of approaches and subject matters, there is a shared (if often implicit) commitment to feminist epistemology, methods and values, where dominant, masculinist conceptions and practices of knowledge and authority are recognized and challenged, and where emphasis is given to research and practice that empowers and promotes social and ecological transformation for women and other marginalized groups. (Routledge) 

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Households

Year: 2015

What Determines Poverty Transition? An Investigation of Women Livestock Farmers in Bangladesh

Citation:

Akter, Shaheen, and John Farrington. 2011. “What Determines Poverty Transition? An Investigation of Women Livestock Farmers in Bangladesh.” Development in Practice 21 (2): 269–81.

Authors: Shaheen Akter, John Farrington

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article evaluates poverty transition using self-assessment in a quasi-experimental framework. Data are drawn from a survey conducted in 2006 of 400 women who were the beneficiaries of a poverty-alleviation programme which involved longer-term interventions towards building the strength of government departments, participating organisations, and beneficiaries. During the survey, when the project was approaching its conclusion, about 50 per cent of these farmers were still in the programme. The article addresses a number of key questions related to pathways out of poverty through livestock-based activities, heterogeneity in livelihood choice and its impact on household welfare, and wider applications.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article évalue la transition hors de la pauvreté à l'aide de l'auto-évaluation dans un cadre quasi-expérimental. Les données sont tirées d'une étude menée en 2006 parmi 400 femmes qui étaient les bénéficiaires d'un programme d'atténuation de la pauvreté qui faisait intervenir des interventions à plus long terme visant à renforcer les départements gouvernementaux, les organisations participantes et les bénéficiaires. Durant cette étude, alors que le projet touchait à sa fin, environ 50 pour cent de ces éleveuses étaient encore dans le programme. Cet article aborde un certain nombre de questions clés liées aux chemins possibles pour sortir de la pauvreté au moyen d'activités basées sur le bétail, l'hétérogénéité dans le choix du moyen de subsistance et son impact sur le bien-être des ménages, ainsi que des applications plus larges.
 
PORTUGUESE ABSTRACT:
Este artigo avalia a transição da pobreza utilizando a auto-avaliação em uma estrutura quase-experimental. Os dados são extraídos de um levantamento realizado em 2006 com 400 mulheres que eram as beneficiárias de um programa de alívio da pobreza que envolveu intervenções de mais longo prazo voltadas ao fortalecimento de departamentos governamentais, organizações participantes e beneficiários. Durante o levantamento, quando o projeto estava abordando sua conclusão, cerca de 50 por cento destas produtoras rurais ainda estavam no programa. O artigo aborda algumas questões-chave relacionadas a maneiras de se deixar a pobreza através de atividades que envolvem gado, heterogeneidade na escolha dos meios de subsistência e seu impacto no bem-estar familiar e aplicações mais abrangentes.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este ensayo analiza la evolución de la pobreza utilizando un método de autoevaluación en un marco semiexperimental. Las estadísticas proceden de encuestas realizadas a 400 mujeres beneficiarias de un programa de reducción de la pobreza en 2006. El programa consistió en acciones a largo plazo para fortalecer a agencias gubernamentales, organizaciones y beneficiarias. Durante el periodo de las encuestas, hacia el final del programa, alrededor de la mitad de las campesinas seguía participando. Este ensayo aborda varias interrogantes en torno a las vías para superar la pobreza a través de actividades ganaderas, de la diversificación de medios de subsistencia y de su impacto en el bienestar familiar, entre otras aplicaciones.

Keywords: Gender and Diversity, Labour and livelihoods, technology, South Asia

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2011

The Role of Gender in Improving Adaptation to Climate Change among Small-Scale Fishers

Citation:

Musinguzi, Laban, Vianny Natugonza, Jackson Efitre, and Richard Ogutu-Ohwayo. 2018. “The Role of Gender in Improving Adaptation to Climate Change among Small-Scale Fishers.” Climate and Development 10 (6): 566-76.

Authors: Laban Musinguzi, Vianny Natugonza, Jackson Efitre, Richard Ogutu-Ohwayo

Abstract:

Climate change disproportionately affects marginalized groups, especially women. To guide the integration of gender roles in interventions to improve adaptation, we examined gender roles among fishers on Lake Wamala, Uganda, which has been increasingly affected by climate change. We found lower participation of women than men in preharvest and postharvest fishing activities, with 99% of fishers and 92.9% of fish processors and traders combined being men. The men had more fishing experience, started fishing at a younger age and exited at a later age, targeted more species, used more fishing gears and bought more fish for processing and trading. Although we observed diversification to non-fishery livelihoods, such as crop and livestock production to increase food security and income among others, income from these activities was not controlled or shared equally between men and women. Compared to men, women worked longer hours, engaging in more simultaneous activities both in and out of the home and reported less time resting. The income controlled by women was used directly to meet household needs. The implications of these differences for adaptation, what men and women can do best to enhance adaptation and how some adaptation practices and interventions can be implemented to benefit both men and women are discussed.

Keywords: adaptation, climate change, small-scale fishers, gender, livelihoods, Uganda

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2018

Climate Change through a Gendered Lens: Examining Livestock Holder Food Security

Citation:

McKune, Sarah L., Erica C. Borresen, Alyson G. Young, Thérèse D Auria Ryley, Sandra L. Russo, Astou Diao Camara, Meghan Coleman, and Elizabeth P. Ryan. 2015. “Climate Change through a Gendered Lens: Examining Livestock Holder Food Security.” Global Food Security 6: 1-8.

Authors: Sarah L. McKune, Erica C. Borresen, Alyson G. Young, Thérèse D Auria Ryley, Sandra L. Russo, Astou Diao Camara, Meghan Coleman, Elizabeth P. Ryan

Abstract:

Livestock holders experience increased food insecurity because of climate change. We argue that development programs, public health specialists, and practitioners must critically examine gendered impacts of climate change to improve food security of livestock producers. This review illustrates the differential experiences of men and women and how vulnerability, adaptive capacity, exposure and sensitivity to climatic stimuli are gendered in distinct ways between and among livestock holding communities. We propose a gendered conceptual framework for understanding the impact of climate change on food security among livestock holders, which highlights potential pathways of vulnerability and points of intervention to consider in global health strategies for improving household food security.

Keywords: food security, climate change, livestock, gender, vulnerability

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Health, Households, Security, Food Security

Year: 2015

Food Security: What Does Gender Have to Do With It?

Citation:

Mengesha, Emezat H. 2016. “Food Security: What Does Gender Have to Do With It?Agenda 30 (4): 25-35.

Author: Emezat H. Mengesha

Abstract:

The practice of gender mainstreaming has made inroads into food security policies and programmes in Ethiopia, resulting in integration of mechanisms to address the needs and priorities of women and men. Recognition of women-headed households and women within male-headed households for receipt of benefits, recognition of women-headed households as in the poorer category of Food Security Program (FSP) clients and the danger of women’s needs being overshadowed by the demands made by household heads are good examples here. Although positive results/outcomes have been recorded in consecutive evaluations of the FSP, challenges remain. The main challenges revolve around failure to articulate/understand factors that make women experience food insecurity more severely than other members of the family; traditional patriarchal practices which require women to prioritise feeding the husband and boy child in times of food shortages; and failure to articulate/address the added burdens which food insecurity puts upon women, including being forced to travel long distances in search of water as well as feed for animals at home, heavy workload and time poverty. These challenges arise due to an understanding of food security that takes households as units of analysis, and fails adequately to understand and articulate the gender-differentiated needs of different members of a household.

Based on quantitative and qualitative methods with tools such as questionnaires and in-depth and key informant interviews as well as focus group discussions targeting beneficiaries of the FSP and implementers, this article examines the level of engagement of the FSP with gender and feminist concerns. This research is based on the most recent cycle of the FSP of Ethiopia (2010–2014) and a review of relevant literature, including evaluations of various components of the FSP. 

Keywords: gender, food security, feminism and food security

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2016

Food Security Aspects of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Rural Women in Smallholder Agriculture

Citation:

Matshe, Innocent. 2008. “Food Security Aspects of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Rural Women in Smallholder Agriculture.” Agenda 22 (78): 132-43. 

Author: Innocent Matshe

Abstract:

This article explores the gender dimension of the impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture, and whether the gender status of household head is important in accounting for observed differences in agricultural performance. The article quantifies this in terms of time and attempts to puts a monetary value to the costs of caring and caregiving. It indicates that rural women lose a substantial amount of time dealing with the disease and that this has a significant impact on their productivity, which directly affects their food security status. The Impact of HIV/AIDS on female-headed households was found to be compounded by external factors that interact with household characteristics. 

Keywords: food security, HIV/AIDS, Agricultural productivity, female-headed households, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security

Year: 2008

"People Are Trying to Be Modern": Food Insecurity and the Strategies of the Poor

Citation:

Leahy, Terry, and Debbie Jean Brown. 2016. “‘People Are Trying to Be Modern’: Food Insecurity and the Strategies of the Poor.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (3): 489-510.

Authors: Terry Leahy, Debbie Jean Brown

Abstract:

The failure of rural Africans to heed the message of development projects and improving agricultural practices is widely recognized as a problem in terms of food security and rural development. This study focuses on the situation in one locality of eastern Zambia and adopts a qualitative approach. By looking at local cultural issues a different understanding of the mechanisms of this failure may be attempted. We suggest that food provisioning is constructed in reference to an ideal of modernity in which subsistence production takes a particular (and gendered) relationship to the cash economy. The implication is that subsistence agriculture is conceived as ‘reproduction’ within capitalism rather than as a separate mode of production articulated with capitalism. This ideal of modernity and the associated utopia of food provisioning make it difficult for rural households in Zambia to see sustainable subsistence agriculture as any kind of a way forward. 

Keywords: Zambia, food security, subsistence, gender, peasant

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Food Security, Gender, Households, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2016

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

Seed Struggles and Food Sovereignty in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2013. “Seed Struggles and Food Sovereignty in Northern Malawi.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 40 (5): 867-97.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

In this paper I use seeds in Malawi as both an analytical lens and an empirical focus of study to examine how food sovereignty is threatened or enhanced in a particular location and time. I argue that while food sovereignty was eroded for smallholders through neoliberal reforms to the agricultural system, community and kin practices help to maintain food sovereignty. The intersection of gender and class dynamics, combined with state policies, however, works to undermine food sovereignty for particular groups in northern Malawi. Historical processes of exclusion, dispossession and exploitation changed the division of labour and reduced time and land for diverse farming systems. State policies reduced knowledge and availability of preferred local varieties. While peasants, particularly women, have considerable knowledge of seed varieties, and seeds continue to be exchanged in agrarian communities, young women, tenant farmers, food insecure younger couples and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-affected families are particularly vulnerable to reduced food sovereignty, in part due to gender inequalities, unequal land distribution and social stigma. New efforts to strengthen food sovereignty need to build on community and kin relations, while addressing social inequalities. Understanding the struggles and relations linked to seeds helps us to understand ways in which food sovereignty is undermined or strengthened.

Keywords: Malawi, food sovereignty, maize, seeds, agrobiodiversity, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2013

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