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Nelson Mandela University (2022)

Feminization of agriculture, livelihoods and climate change in Chivi district, Zimbabwe

Muzapi, Admire

Titre : Feminization of agriculture, livelihoods and climate change in Chivi district, Zimbabwe

Auteur : Muzapi, Admire

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Development Studies 2022

Given the historically disadvantaged position of women and their heavy reliance on climate-sensitive activities in many societies, the vagaries of the climate threaten the agrarian livelihoods of women in Chivi district. This study focuses on the impacts of climate change on women working in agriculture in one ward of Chivi district and on the feminization of agriculture during the period from 2000 to 2019. It explores how the roles of women have changed in agricultural production and in relation to household food security. It assesses women’s involvement in decision-making in agriculture as well as in household food security, and analyses the socio-economic impacts of climate change on women subsistence farmers, exploring the adaptation strategies that rural women working in agriculture implement in response to climate-risk events and threats. The study was influenced by ecofeminist theories and the Sustainable Livelihood Framework. Comparative analysis of household types was done after data gathering using participatory rural appraisal tools with women from three villages. Interviews were conducted with key informants from government departments and development institutions. The results show that climate-risk events and threats have resulted in feminization of agricultural labour as men branch out into wage labour, but that changing power relations in the form of decision-making in agriculture and issues related to household food security vary with the type of the household. Worsening climatic conditions have made it difficult for women to ensure household food security and to generate income through agrarian livelihoods. However, women have implemented adaptation strategies including conservation agriculture to mitigate crop failure, and to improve agricultural output and household daily consumption, and thus survive peak hunger periods. The study contributes to our understanding of the resilience of women in the Global South to climate-risk events and threats and contributes to our understanding of participatory rural appraisal tools in addition to conventional data collection tools. The study recommends that development institutions promote gender equality and that development institutions construct dams, rehabilitate collapsed irrigation schemes and accelerate the implementation of novel climate smart technologies in arid regions.

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Page publiée le 14 janvier 2023