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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Royaume-Uni → 1999 → Milk, millett and mannerisms : gendered production among Fulbe pastoral and agropastoral households in northern Burkina Faso

University of London (1999)

Milk, millett and mannerisms : gendered production among Fulbe pastoral and agropastoral households in northern Burkina Faso

Buhl, Solveig

Titre : Milk, millett and mannerisms : gendered production among Fulbe pastoral and agropastoral households in northern Burkina Faso.

Auteur : Buhl, Solveig.

Etablissement de soutenance : University of London

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) : 1999

Résumé
Over the last two decades increasing numbers of studies have focused on African pastoral livelihoods in the light of drought, environmental and economic change. Studies discussing gender issues in pastoral societies have suggested that women are progressively losing out as a result of impoverishment, growing commercialisation and through cultural ideals that often discriminate against women. This study aims to contribute to an understanding of how gender, commercialisation, impoverishment and cultural ideals, all interact in Fulbe production, particularly agricultural and pastoral. The study is based mainly on participant observation and multiround socio-economic surveys among 39 pastoral and agropastoral Fulbe Djelgobe, Gaobe and Liptako households in the north-eastern part of Burkina Faso. In terms of pastoral production, almost half of the study households had fewer than ten cattle, only three had a hundred or more. Women were found to be disadvantaged in accessing livestock, especially in poor households and among sedentary agro-pastoralists. Whereas Fulbe men had, with impoverishment, diversified their income strategies considerably, women had not. This was partly because of women’s own interpretation of cultural ideals and men’s obligation to provide millet for the household. Men’s engagement in agriculture was essential for most households to secure livelihoods. For women agriculture lowered their social standing vis-à-vis other women and hence participation was limited to sowing and thinning. Fulbe women’s only source of monetary income was through the selling of milk. Proceeds were spent as they wished, mostly on personal needs. Although milk yields were in general low, there was no simple link between impoverishment or commercialisation and milk selling behaviour. The determinants of milk selling were far more complex and involved age, parity, location on transhumance, ethnicity and potential to adhere to cultural ideals of seclusion. The thesis reveals that while cultural ideals do indeed restrict Fulbe women from diversifying their income sources, they also secure their status and provide them with a relatively strong bargaining position within the household despite the effects of impoverishment and commercialisation

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