How resilient are farming households and communities to a changing climate in Africa? A gender-based perspective
This article (PDF) in Global Environmental Change uses a gender-based perspective to assess the conditions that underlie vulnerability and resilience of households and communities that face climate-change. The authors utilized a feminist political ecology framework to analyze how women and men are differently affected by issues of climate change and resource degradation. The research uses an integrated qualitative and quantitative dataset composed of household surveys and village focus group studies, carried out across a wide range of environments and agricultural systems and in nine East and West African countries. The compared the agricultural and livelihood systems of male and female respondents, as well as their productive resources, organization and access to services, and concluded that women have less access than men to common property resources, as well as to cash to obtain goods or services. Women control less land than men, the land they control is often of poorer quality, and their tenure is insecure. Women engage in mutual insurance and risk-sharing networks, and benefit from non-agricultural services provided by social support institutions external to the village. However, formally registered, public and private external organizations that foster agriculture and livestock production have tremendous anti-women biases, and tend to provide support primarily to men. The authors conclude that policies and strategies are needed to eliminate these prejudices so that men and women increase their resilience and manage well their changing environments.