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Livelihoods

Connecting Women, Connecting Men: How Communities and Organizations Interact to Strengthen Adaptive Capacity and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change

Citation:

Cramer, Laura, Wiebke Förch, Ianetta Mutie, and Philip K. Thornton. 2016. “Connecting Women, Connecting Men: How Communities and Organizations Interact to Strengthen Adaptive Capacity and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change.” Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 169-99.

Authors: Laura Cramer, Wiebke Förch, Ianetta Mutie, Philip K. Thornton

Abstract:

Given the different roles that women and men play in households and communities, strategies to improve food security and build adaptive capacity need to take gender differences into account. In many developing countries, local organizations have a role to play in it. However, the degree to which there is an overlap among the priorities of men, women, and organizations (including non-governmental bodies, local government offices, and other agencies working in the community) is not generally known, nor do we know whether organizations are strengthening the adaptive capacity of both men and women effectively and equally. Using gender-disaggregated data arising from community- level participatory research and organizational-level interviews from 15 sites across West Africa, East Africa, and South Asia, we conduct a cross-regional analysis of local organizational landscapes as they relate to livelihoods and food security. We find that in all regions, women tend to value local organizations more highly and thus appear to be less connected to external organizations than men. Additionally, women’s perception of food security is broader than men’s, going beyond a production focus. Most of the local organizations with food security as a stated objective focus on production, which can marginalize/alienate women. Given the effects that climate change is predicted to have on food security, development organizations should consider the differing priorities of men and women, and use a gendered perspective when building adaptive capacity to respond to climate change, and to maintain/ improve food security. Such work can, perhaps, most effectively be implemented through existing community groups.

Keywords: adaptive capacity, food security, gender roles, climate change, organizations

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Food Security, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia

Year: 2016

'I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!' Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya

Citation:

Collins, Shalean M., Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, and Sera L. Young. 2019. “‘I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!’ Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya.” Global Public Health 14 (5): 649-62.

Authors: Shalean M. Collins, Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, Sera L. Young

Abstract:

There is rapidly evolving literature on water insecurity in the general adult population, but the role of water insecurity during the vulnerable periods of pregnancy and postpartum, or in the context of HIV, has been largely overlooked. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory study, using Go Along interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, and pile sorts with 40 pregnant and postpartum Kenyan women living in an area of high HIV prevalence. We sought to (1) describe their lived experiences of water acquisition, prioritisation, and use and (2) explore the consequences of water insecurity. The results suggest that water insecurity is particularly acute in this period, and impacts women in far-reaching and unexpected ways. We propose a broader conceptualisation of water insecurity to include consideration of the consequences of water insecurity for maternal and infant psychosocial and physical health, nutrition, and economic well-being.

Keywords: HIV, water insecurity, maternal and child health, first 1000 days

Topics: Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

Gendered Climate Change Adaptation Practices in Fragmented Farm Fields of Gamo Highlands, Ethiopia

Citation:

Cholo, Tesfaye C., Jack Peerlings, and Luuk Fleskens. 2019. “Gendered Climate Change Adaptation Practices in Fragmented Farm Fields of Gamo Highlands, Ethiopia.” Climate and Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2019.1618234

Authors: Tesfaye C. Cholo, Jack Peerlings, Luuk Fleskens

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to assess the existence of gendered climate change adaptation practices of smallholder farmers in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia. We hypothesized that smallholders’ adaptation practices are gendered because of land fragmentation and gendered division of labour. To explore this, we considered sustainable land management practices as a tool for sustainable adaptation and assessed the effect of land management practices deployed and land fragmentation on intra-household time allocation. The results indicate that although land fragmentation increased hours worked by men and women significantly, fragmentation increased the working hours of men more than women. Application of a larger number of sustainable land management practices increases the mean working hours of women, but leaves unaffected the working hours of men, implying that adaptation practices are gender-biased. Therefore, this study can guide land management decisions by pointing out that fragmentation results in long working hours and adaptation practices may disproportionately affect women.

Keywords: land management, fragmentation, sustainable, gendered, work division

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2019

Contextualising and Conceptualising Gender and Climate Change in Africa

Citation:

Bob, Urmilla, and Agnes Babugura. 2014. “Contextualising and Conceptualising Gender and Climate Change in Africa.” Agenda 28 (3): 3-15.

Authors: Urmilla Bob, Agnes Babugura

Abstract:

This overview provides the conceptual and contextual foundation for the issue on ‘Gender and climate change’. Drawing on a literature review and appraisal of the contributions in this issue, we foreground the current key climate change debates. There is consensus that climate change is a global challenge with devastating impacts at different scales. It is also established in the literature that some communities and groups are more vulnerable than others. In mapping the issues we provide an overview of the gender and climate change debates, as the thematic focus. The importance of engendering policy development, research as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies are underscored. The discussion then provides a brief overview of climate change trends and dynamics in Africa, the continent which is viewed as the most vulnerable to climate change impacts due to persistent poverty (including socio-economic inequalities), unsustainable and insecure livelihoods, high reliance on the natural resource base, limited access to information and technologies, and weak institutions and state fragility. This is followed by a thematic examination of the key issues related to gender and climate change in Africa which include women as consumers, access to land and natural resources, agricultural production and food security, health aspects, security issues and adaptation and mitigation support. Finally, concluding remarks are forwarded which resonate with the contributions by writers in the issue.

Keywords: gender, women, climate change, vulnerability, africa

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Gender Differentiated Vulnerability to Climate Change in Eastern Uganda

Citation:

Balikoowa, Kenneth, Gorettie Nabanoga, David Mwesigye Tumusiime, and Michael S. Mbogga. 2019. “Gender Differentiated Vulnerability to Climate Change in Eastern Uganda.” Climate and Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2019.1580555.

Authors: Kenneth Balikoowa, Gorettie Nabanoga, David Mwesigye Tumusiime, Michael S. Mbogga

Abstract:

Climate change literature is rife with the assertion that women are more vulnerable to climate change, which state is expected to reflect on female-headed households. However, this assertion has however not been empirically proven aside from the general poverty-gender linkages. This study used primary data collected in 2016 from 735 randomly selected households from four districts in Eastern Uganda to construct a gender vulnerability index to compare and explain the drivers of vulnerability between male and female-headed households. The results show that female-headed households were more vulnerable (GVI-IPCC=−0.134) than male-headed households (GVI-IPCC=−0.176). The results further show that disparity in adaptive capacity mediates vulnerability between male and female-headed households. This underscores the importance of proactive interventions rather than protectionist approaches to reducing vulnerability. The study has extended the analytical utility of the livelihood vulnerability index to create a gender vulnerability index for comparing contextual groups of households in Eastern Uganda.

Keywords: gender, climate change, adaptive capacity, vulnerability

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2019

Women’s Experiences of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Citation:

Ali, H. M. Ashraf, and Helen Vallianatos. 2017. “Women’s Experiences of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.” Ecology of Food and Nutrition 56 (6): 462-78. 

Authors: H.M. Ashraf Ali, Helen Vallianatos

Abstract:

Despite advances in food production and distribution technologies, global food insecurity continues throughout parts of South Asia. Using ethnographic data collected from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, this article reports on gendered and ethnocultural variations in experiences of food insecurity. Three key findings are that (1) regardless of ethnicity, the majority of the households in this study suffered moderate food insecurity; (2) food insecurity was higher among female-headed households; and (3) women’s means of coping strategies varied depending on household structure and ethnic identity. It is argued that indigenous women’s coping strategies were protective in comparison with Bengali women’s experiences.

Keywords: Bangladesh, CHT, coping strategies, food insecurity, women

Topics: Environment, Food Security, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2017

Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women

Citation:

Ahmed, Fathima. 2018. “Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women.” Agenda 32 (4): 22-31.

Author: Fathima Ahmed

Abstract:

Africa, a continent whose economy is constrained by state and capital, fails to meet the basic needs of the population amidst worsening inequalities and violence. Subsistence producers globally, including indigenous small-scale farmers, pastoralists and hunter gathers, meet the basic needs for the majority. Two-thirds of these producers are women who work autonomously of the state and the market using relations of commoning. These are systems of sharing, collective labour and equal access to and care over nature. ‘Commoning’ is important to indigenous livelihoods, identity and survival, reflecting a strong relationship with the land. Resource-rich indigenous lands are as crucial to capitalist production as they are to anti-capitalist alternatives found in subsistence, and to life itself. African indigenous claims represent grassroots mobilisation for cultural self-determination in the wake of recent enclosures. Enclosures are turning commons into militarised zones, threatening the existence of indigenous peoples. These zones reflect a deliberate cultural packaging of misogynistic violence. Women are an important socio-ecological medium through which corporate-state violence impacts indigenous lives, livelihoods and bodies. As their reproduction and care responsibilities are land-dependent, ecological destruction harms women first. Using indigenous knowledge and practices, women are at the forefront of defending relationality with the land from capitalist destruction. They symbolise both an alternative and a threat to capitalism. As this article demonstrates, violence on the land and violence on women’s bodies are linked. Hence, feminist Lierre Keith contends that “militarism is a feminist issue, rape an environmental issue, and environmental destruction a peace issue” (Rebecca Weiss, ‘Sexism in the Olympics? You shouldn’t be surprised’, Patheos Catholic: Suspended in Her Jar, August 15, 2016). This activist article, using indigenous and anti-capitalist transnational feminism, highlights women’s agency and knowledge in providing life-centered and peaceful alternatives to the socio-ecological crisis across the continent, through a subsistence perspective.

Keywords: subsistence, indigenous women, commons, relationality, anti-capitalism

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico

Citation:

Bennett, Vivienne. 1995. The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author: Vivienne Bennett

Annotation:

Summary:
Bennett unravels the politics of water in Monterrey by following three threads of inquiry.  First, she examines the water services themselves - what was built, when, why, and who paid for them.  She then reveals the response of poor women to the water crisis, analyzing who participated in protests, the strategies they used, and how the government responded.  And, finally, she considers the dynamics of planning water services for the private sector and the government in investment and management.  In the end, Monterrey’s water services improved because power relations shifted and because poor women in Monterrey used protests to make national news out of the city’s water crisis.
 
The Politics of Water makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on regional politics in Mexico and to a deeper understanding of the Monterrey region in particular.  Until recently, most scholarly writing on Mexico spoke of the national political system as a monolithic whole.  Scholars such as Vivienne Bennett are now recognizing the power of local citizens and the significant differences among regions when it comes to politics, policy making, and governmental investment decisions. (Summary from original source)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Urban Water Services: Theory and Planning
 
3. Buildup of a Crises: The Evolution of Monterrey's Water Service, 1909-1985
 
4. The Voice of the People: Protests Over Water Service in Monterrey Between 1973 and 1985
 
5. Gender, Class, and Water: The Role of Women in Protests Over Water
 
6. Agua Para Todos: The Government's Response to the Water Crisis
 
7. Conclusion: The Politics of Water

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1995

The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa

Citation:

Bulled, Nicola. 2016. “The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31 (1): 133–54.

Author: Nicola Bulled

Abstract:

The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013-2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores "water citizenship"-individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water-related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.

Keywords: South Africa, citizenship, emotional distress, rural poor, water insecurity

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context

Citation:

Mason, Lisa Reyes. 2013. “Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context.” PhD diss., Washington University in St. Louis.

Author: Lisa Reyes Mason

Abstract:

Seasonal water insecurity is a complex problem of growing concern in many urban areas, due in part to urbanization, population growth, and environmental change. Using multiple research methods, this study documents the extent and nature of seasonal water insecurity among and within households in an urban neighborhood in Baguio City, the Philippines. This study also examines how individual and household factors--gender and financial, physical, and social resources--and contextual factors may relate to water insecurity by season. Data collection methods include archival research, informal interviews, randomly-sampled household surveys: N=396), randomly-sampled individual subsurveys: N=291), and in-depth interviews: N=18).
 
This study conceptualizes and measures water insecurity along three dimensions: quantity, quality, and accessibility of water for everyday household and individual use. Key findings are that water insecurity varies widely among households in the study neighborhood, and to some extent, within households. These differences are more pronounced in the dry than rainy season. Household financial and physical resources are associated with some dimensions of water insecurity, also with seasonal variation. In general, quantitative methods in this study find few associations between water insecurity and gender or household social resources; relationships among these variables are found, however, using qualitative methods. Neighborhood and municipal factors such as geography, water utility characteristics, and population and environment trends are discussed.
 
This study contributes an important documentation of the heterogeneities in water insecurity that exist among a population and which are often masked by municipal, regional, and national statistics. Study findings also have implications for programs and policies designed to bolster the factors associated with reduced water insecurity by season--in urban areas of the Philippines, and in other countries expecting to experience seasonal water insecurity for the first time or to a greater extent than in the past.

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2013

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