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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2020 → THE INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF WOMEN INVOLVED IN RURAL AGRICULTURE IN KAKAMEGA COUNTY, KENYA

Stellenbosch University (2020)

THE INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF WOMEN INVOLVED IN RURAL AGRICULTURE IN KAKAMEGA COUNTY, KENYA

Liru, Pauline Nelima

Titre : THE INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF WOMEN INVOLVED IN RURAL AGRICULTURE IN KAKAMEGA COUNTY, KENYA

Auteur : Liru, Pauline Nelima

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy 2020

Résumé partiel
Climate change is a global challenge that negatively affects natural, physical, human, financial and social capital and the livelihoods of people. In Sub Saharan Africa and Kenya, the influence of climate change is more pronounced on the livelihoods of rural farmers due to their overreliance on natural resources. This study investigated the influence of climate change on women farmers in Kakamega County in Kenya and how they adapt, and the assets they draw on to cope with the effects of climate change on their livelihoods. The study explored how gender roles, intersectionality and differential access to assets affect women’s adaptation and resilience to climate change. To establish this, a qualitative crosssectional exploratory study design was used to unearth the livelihood experiences of rural women farmers. The study was conducted over a period of four months between September 2017 to January 2018 across five sub counties including Lurambi, Malava, Mumias West, Lugari, and Lubao in Kakamega County. A total of 138 individual male and female farmers participated in the study ; data collection was done over three months and involved ten life histories, sixteen key informant interviews and twelve focus groups and participant observations. Field notes and transcripts were thematically analysed. A Sustainable Livelihoods Approach guided the study’s framework for analysis, complemented by the Asset Based Community Development approach, resilience theory and feminist theory. Key findings show that the main aspects of climate change affect women are temperature changes and variable precipitation causing floods and droughts. Such have a negative influence on the livelihoods of women who mainly rely on crop production, livestock production and small businesses. Changes in climate generally have a negative impact on the livelihoods of rural men and women farmers and affect their health, energy, water availability, biodiversity, labour demands and social systems. The effects are more pronounced on women compared to men farmers due to their high dependence on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods. In addition, the influence on women is exacerbated by their reproductive roles that expose them to climate effects and disempower them to respond to the effects. Given the gendered effects of climate change in terms of the division of labour and underlying societal values, the key factor that influence women’s ability to mitigate the effects of climate change is patriarchy. This affects their ability to access various capitals and related assets. As a result of patriarchy, women’s decision-making and ability to respond to climate change is compromised. Women overcome this by using various social networks and groups to access the necessary resources to build resilience to climate change.

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