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Pennsylviana State University (2017)

When the cows come home : Gender dynamics and intra-household livestock management in southern Kenya

Yurco, Kayla Marie

Titre : When the cows come home : Gender dynamics and intra-household livestock management in southern Kenya

Auteur : Yurco, Kayla Marie

Université de soutenance  : Pennsylviana State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2017

Résumé partiel
This dissertation investigates pastoral women’s roles in managing livestock in southern Kenya. Although there is a rich body of literature on human-livestock-environment interactions in sub-Saharan Africa, scholarship has tended to focus primarily on herding activities in rangelands where livestock graze under the supervision of men. Pastoral women’s caretaking roles at home have tended to be overlooked, yet they are integral to decision-making about household economy. As such, I provide empirical evidence for pastoral women’s contributions to livestock management by examining milking activities in bomas (homesteads). Specifically, I examine women’s considerations to balance output (milk offtake for household needs) with investment (milk allocated toward young animals) and the spaces in which such decisions occur. Given that milk is a primary food source for much of the year, I find that women’s decisions have crucial implications for food security and herd health. This dissertation is based on 14 months of fieldwork conducted from 2014 to 2015 in a Maasai community in southern Kenya. I used mixed methods, including structured household surveys, intra-household surveys, and semi-structured interviews with men and women to understand the gendered nature of livestock management. Through an in-depth focal household study over ten months, I also collected quantitative and qualitative data during hundreds of milking observations with women and herding events with men. This dissertation presents several main findings. First, livestock management practices that determine livelihood outcomes occur within pastoral households in highly gendered, contested, and dynamic private spaces. Second, gendered, intra-household relations shape three central components of pastoral livelihoods : livestock productivity, food security, and adaptive and coping capacities

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Page publiée le 6 juin 2021