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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås (2019)

Gendered living and responding to pastoral stressors in Borana, southern Ethiopia

Anbacha, Abiyot Eliyas

Titre : Gendered living and responding to pastoral stressors in Borana, southern Ethiopia

Kjønnsbaserte perspektiver på, og responsstrategier til, stressfaktorer i pastoralt levesett : en studie fra Borana, sørlige Etiopia.

Auteur : Anbacha, Abiyot Eliyas

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) 2019

Résumé partiel
This thesis examines major stressors affecting pastoral production and the impacts of these stressors on different social groups, particularly on women in Borana, southern Ethiopia. The main objective is to understand the gendered perceptions, experiences and responses to climate and non-climatic stressors. Specifically, the thesis investigates perceptions of women and men on the frequency, impacts and severity of stressors. It assesses the dynamics of gender relation under stressors, and examines gendered aspects of diversification as a response strategy to the stressors. Finally, the thesis investigates the role of women’s social security networks to overcome household food shortages during crises. This study was conducted from mid-2014 up to 2015 in four pastoralist associations engaged in both pastoral and agro-pastoral production systems. The study employed household surveys, key informant interviews, group interviews, focus group discussions and field observations. The household survey covered 240 randomly selected households in the four selected pastoralist associations from Yabelo and Dire districts of Borana. Results show that Borana pastoral livelihood is under numerous challenges, encompassing climate, environment, social, economic, governance and conflicts. Of all the stressors, this study identified climate-related stressors as the most frequent and impactful, followed by economic stressors. Further analysis revealed that women are more anxious than men about climatic and economic stressors, while men give due attention to conflict- and governancerelated stressors owing to their gendered roles and responsibilities. Although stressors affect both women and men, this study confirmed that women bear a disproportionate burden of stressors impact owing to existing structural inequality between women and men in accessing basic resources, high dependence of women on natural resources availability, and their different roles in the society. Nevertheless, the study also indicated that women are not only victims but also play important roles with their male counterparts to reduce the impacts of the stressors by engaging in different livelihood activities.

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