Engendering Dialogues:
Understanding How Local Institutions affect
Women’s Access to Land Resources and
Household Food Sec...
Smallholder farmers in semi-arid Kenya
• Unpredictable rain seasons in
semi-arid midlands
• Food insecurity for smallholde...
Research Motivation
• When women have better control of household
resources, there is better food provision to household
m...
Research Question
How local institutions on access to land resources
affect livelihood strategies for female smallholder
f...
Definitions
• Local institutions (North 1990)
• Access (Ribot & Peluso 2003)
• Land resources (FAO & UNEP 1999)
• Sustaina...
1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
District Sublocation
Community
Meetings
In-depth
Interviews
Focus group
discu...
1. Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement
2. Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance
3. Emerging Themes from Ca...
Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement
“Whoever marries has a piece of land”
• Wives use land for cultivation via hus...
Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement
“Whoever marries has a piece of land”
• Wives use land for cultivation via hus...
Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance
“It is like murder!”
1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
• Interpre...
Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance
“It is like murder!”
1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
• Interpre...
Emerging Themes from Cases of Tenuous Access
• Customary rules adherence often depends on available resources
“If the land...
Emerging Themes from Cases of Tenuous Access
• Customary rules adherence often depends on available resources
“If the land...
Shaping of Resilience Mechanisms
through better understanding of local institutions
• Access to land resource within deep-...
Future Directions
• Access mechanisms used to
navigate local institutions
• Quantitative associations between
women’s acce...
Thank you!
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Prof. Gordon Hickey
Prof. John Galaty
Prof. Sarah Turner
Sustainable Futu...
International Food Security Dialogue 2014
1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
International Food Security Dialogue 2014
How do female
smallholder farmers
access land resources
within local institutional
processes and cultural
norms?
1. CONTEX...
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Gender and Livelihoods: Engendering Dialogues: Understanding how local institutions affect women's access to land resources and household food security in semi-arid Kenya

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  • Gain a better understanding of traditional food and indigenous knowledge systems, and key drivers of food insecurity;
    Catalyze the adoption, and assess the social, economic and environmental impacts, of agricultural innovations prioritized by farmers;
    5) Contribute to the formulation of ‘resilience-focused’ policies to enhance food security, livelihoods and environmental sustainability in the semi-arid regions; and disseminate findings. Streams: Institution and governance, agricultural technologies, gender, land tenure, economics, nutrition and health.
  • Gain a better understanding of traditional food and indigenous knowledge systems, and key drivers of food insecurity;
    Catalyze the adoption, and assess the social, economic and environmental impacts, of agricultural innovations prioritized by farmers;
    5) Contribute to the formulation of ‘resilience-focused’ policies to enhance food security, livelihoods and environmental sustainability in the semi-arid regions; and disseminate findings. Streams: Institution and governance, agricultural technologies, gender, land tenure, economics, nutrition and health.
  • Access
    Land is not regarded simply in terms of soils and surface topography, but encompasses such features as underlying superficial deposits, climate and water resources, and also the plant and animal communities which have developed as a result of the interaction of these physical conditions. The results of human activities, reflected by changes in vegetative cover or by structures, are also regarded as features of the land.
    Food Security:”when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”
    SL: A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (stores, resources, claims and access) and activities required for a means of living; a livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generation; and which contributes net benefits to other livelihoods at the local and global levels and in the short and long-term (Chambers and Conway 1992, p. 6).
  • Gender and Livelihoods: Engendering Dialogues: Understanding how local institutions affect women's access to land resources and household food security in semi-arid Kenya

    1. 1. Engendering Dialogues: Understanding How Local Institutions affect Women’s Access to Land Resources and Household Food Security in Semi-Arid Kenya June Po, M.S. Gordon Hickey, Ph.D. KARI-McGill Project Innovating for Resilient Farming Systems May 2nd , 2014 International Food Security Dialogue 2014 Enhancing Food Production, Gender Equity and Nutritional Security in a Changing World
    2. 2. Smallholder farmers in semi-arid Kenya • Unpredictable rain seasons in semi-arid midlands • Food insecurity for smallholder farmers • Low adoption of innovation, technology • New constitution & customary institutions • Complex social-ecological system 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES Makueni International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    3. 3. Research Motivation • When women have better control of household resources, there is better food provision to household members • Less is understood about the relationship between women’s access to land resources within a patrilineal society to resilience in livelihoods and nutritional security 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    4. 4. Research Question How local institutions on access to land resources affect livelihood strategies for female smallholder farmers in semi-arid Kenya? 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
    5. 5. Definitions • Local institutions (North 1990) • Access (Ribot & Peluso 2003) • Land resources (FAO & UNEP 1999) • Sustainable livelihoods strategies (Chambers & Conway 1992; Scoones 1998) 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    6. 6. 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES District Sublocation Community Meetings In-depth Interviews Focus group discussions Women Men Mixed Women Men Mixed Makueni Mumbuni 1 1 20 2 2 0 Makueni Kitandi 1 1 20 2 2 0 Kathonzweni Thavu 1 1 20 2 1 1 Kibwezi Kathekani 1 0 0 1 2 1 Total 7 60 16 Methods
    7. 7. 1. Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement 2. Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance 3. Emerging Themes from Cases of Tenuous Access 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014 Findings
    8. 8. Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement “Whoever marries has a piece of land” • Wives use land for cultivation via husband, parents-in-law • Wives hold customary ownership after the spouse dies • Access to land stops when ties are severed with husband’s family or clan (Mbui ya Ulee “Goat of Refusal”) 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    9. 9. Customary Norms on Women’s Land Entitlement “Whoever marries has a piece of land” • Wives use land for cultivation via husband, parents-in-law • Wives hold customary ownership after the spouse dies • Access to land stops when ties are severed with husband’s family or clan (Mbui ya Ulee “Goat of Refusal”) 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES • Unmarried or divorced women access land with much constraints from family members • If a man marries more than one wife, the man is not entitled to another piece of land from his father • Access to harvest depends if land was allocated International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    10. 10. Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance “It is like murder!” 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES • Interpret clause with additional conditions – marital status • Inequality or Equity “she cannot have two farms” • Analogy with educating every child “a child is a child” • Constitution as a foreign institution “it is theirs, not ours” International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    11. 11. Attitudes towards Daughters’ Land Inheritance “It is like murder!” 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES • Interpret clause with additional conditions – marital status • Inequality or Equity “she cannot have two farms” • Analogy with educating every child “a child is a child” • Constitution as a foreign institution “it is theirs, not ours” • The traditional values prevails “The constitution is new, but we have practiced the Kamba traditions for long” • Fear of losing ancestral land “...she might sell the piece [I] have given her and go to stay with the husband” • Kenyan president signs bill making polygamy legal April 28th , 2014 International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    12. 12. Emerging Themes from Cases of Tenuous Access • Customary rules adherence often depends on available resources “If the land is large, she can have [a piece]” • Land subdivision is often left until parents passed away as a mechanism of control and security for parents “They can solve the problem after I pass. I will not be there to see the family disputes” 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    13. 13. Emerging Themes from Cases of Tenuous Access • Customary rules adherence often depends on available resources “If the land is large, she can have [a piece]” • Land subdivision is often left until parents passed away as a mechanism of control and security for parents “They can solve the problem after I pass. I will not be there to see the family disputes” • Family peace is a higher priority “...in two to three days, [the wives will] start conflicts. There will be conflicts every day.” • Self-reliance for land; community cohesion for labour “I’ve taken you to school, go and buy your own land.” “Even if they separate, let her search for another husband. Because she moved out of the family, let her just go and look for another man and get married to him... or search for a job, but not to come here [asking for land].” 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    14. 14. Shaping of Resilience Mechanisms through better understanding of local institutions • Access to land resource within deep-rooted customary norms • Gender dynamics in access of land resources within sustainable livelihood framework • Existing local institutions e.g. women self-help groups that help in labour, financial and physical capital that enhance resilience against long term challenges 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
    15. 15. Future Directions • Access mechanisms used to navigate local institutions • Quantitative associations between women’s access to land resources and childhood nutritional security • Contextual land titling processes and rural livelihoods • In-depth case studies that can inform policy makers, practitioners, and farmers 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES
    16. 16. Thank you! Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Prof. Gordon Hickey Prof. John Galaty Prof. Sarah Turner Sustainable Futures Research Lab Canadian International Food Security Research Fund Sponsors Host University of Alberta International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    17. 17. International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    18. 18. 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014
    19. 19. How do female smallholder farmers access land resources within local institutional processes and cultural norms? 1. CONTEXT 2. CONCEPT 3. METHODS 4. OUTCOMES International Food Security Dialogue 2014

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