The Gender and Social Dimensions to Livestock Keeping in Africa: Implications for Animal Health Interventions

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Gender remains a variable in the success of small holder livestock programs. Despite the increased number of gender equity policies and pronouncements, implementation on the ground is weak. This is a general look at the importance both men and women's roles and constraints designed for GALVmed's upcoming vaccine interventions, but useful for anyone working with animal health and production.

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The Gender and Social Dimensions to Livestock Keeping in Africa: Implications for Animal Health Interventions

  1. 1. The Gender and Social Dimensionsto Livestock Keeping in Africa:Implications for Animal Health InterventionsPrepared for GALVmedBy Beth A. Miller, DVM7 March 2011
  2. 2. Acknowledgements and DisclaimerCopyright Beth A. Miller, DVM. Any viewsexpressed, do not necessarily representthose of GALVmed.All photographs are copyright of the followingindividuals, (to whom GALVmed expresses itsthanks) and may not be reproduced:James Glossop for The Times – front cover;inside cover; p.4 (second & third images)pp.7; 15; 16; 18; 19; 22; 31; 33; 39; 47Steve Sloan – p.4 (uppermost image); pp.17;26Anita Swarup – p.4 (lowermost image);pp.11; 24Getty Images – p.8
  3. 3. ContentsAcronyms 4 7.2.1.2 Agricultural ministries 31Executive Summary 5 7.2.1.3 National policies 311 Introduction 9 7.2.2 Universities and Research Institutions 322 Definitions 10 7.2.3 Producer organizations 322.1 Gender 10 7.2.3.1 Women’s groups in villages 322.2 Household 11 7.2.3.2 Producer groups and cooperatives 332.3 Ownership and property rights 12 7.2.4 The Private Sector 333 Roles of livestock 14 7.2.5 Non Governmental Organizations 333.1 Priorities 14 7.3 Program level strategies 343.2 What is work? 14 7.3.1 Planning 343.3 Livestock management 14 7.3.2 Training programs 343.3.1 Daily chores 15 7.3.3 Accountability and assessment 353.3.2 Slaughter 16 7.3.4 Hiring Female Staff 363.3.3 Breeding 16 7.4 One Health 363.3.4 Animal health 18 8 Strategies to improve women’s access to markets 383.3.5 Indigenous knowledge systems 18 8.1 Groups 383.3.6 Assessing gender roles 19 8.2 Technology 383.4 Zoonoses 20 8.3 Integrated services 384 Species preferences 21 8.4 Credit and financial services 384.1 Cattle and Camels 21 8.5 Formal ownership 394.1.1 Dairy Cattle 21 8.6 New products 394.1.2 Draft Oxen 22 8.7 The private sector 394.2 Small Ruminants 22 8.8 Focus on women 394.3 Swine 22 9 Trends for the future 404.4 Poultry 23 9.1 Globalization 404.5 Microlivestock 24 9.1.1 Religion 404.6 Equids 24 9.2 Livestock confinement 405 Constraints to women’s access 9.3 Population pressure 40 to animal health services 255.1 Women’s “deficits” 25 9.4 Climate change 405.2 Institutional culture and policy 25 10 Lessons learned 405.3 Government policies and priorities 25 10.1 Invest in institutions and people as well as technology 405.4 Animal health delivery 26 10.2 Market incentives work best after women’s skills are upgraded to be competitive 406 Constraints to women’s access to markets 27 10.3 Social attitudes and behaviors change over time 406.1 Credit and financial services 27 11 Recommendations to GALVMed 416.2 Commercialization and male appropriation 27 11.1 Gender Strategy-Institutional 416.3 Market information 28 11.1.1 Gender Audit 416.4 Meat sales 28 11.1.2 Gender Policy 416.5 Government regulations 28 11.1.3 Staff Issues 416.6 The Private Sector 28 11.1.4 Central Coordination 417 Solutions and strategies to increase women’s access to animal health services 29 11.1.5 Board of Advisors 417.1 Institutions 29 11.2 Gender Strategy- Project level 417.1.1 Commitment 29 11.2.1 Goals and objectives 417.1.2 Policy 29 11.2.2 Monitoring and assessment 417.1.3 Staff training 29 11.2.3 Advocacy 417.2 Partner institutions 30 11.2.4 Integration of vaccines into packages 417.2.1 Government 30 11.2.5 Species focus 417.2.1.1 National Promotion of gender equality 30 Bibliography 42–47 The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 3
  4. 4. AcronymsAAHH AIDS Affected House HoldAIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)BMGF Bill and Melina Gates FoundationDFID Department for International Development of the United KingdomEADD East Africa Dairy Development ProjectECA Economic Commission for AfricaFAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsHIV Human Immunodeficiency VirusIFAD International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentMHH Male headed householdsMIL Mother in LawPLWA People Living With AIDSSR Small RuminantsTB TuberculosisVPH Veterinary Public HealthWHH Women Headed HouseholdWHO World Health OrganizationThe gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 4
  5. 5. Executive SummaryThe gender and social dimensions to livestock keepingin Africa: implications for animal health interventionsGALVmed has commissioned this report to The gender and age division of labor withinevaluate the role of gender in livestock in households depends on ethnicity, tradition and class.sub Saharan Africa as an initial step towards In pastoral societies, women care for all animalsformulating its gender strategy and kept near the home, and are responsible for theimplementation plan. Women’s contribution health of animals when they return from pastures atis essential to successful livestock keeping night. Herding responsibilities are often gendered,because they already supply the majority of with men herding larger animals and women andlabor and expertise on small holder farms, children herding sheep and goats. Decisions aboutand in the peri and urban setting. In pastoral moving animals to pastures or water sources, ascommunities, both men and women have well well as selling or gifting livestock are usually madedefined and essential livestock responsibilities. by men.Intentional outreach to women with assets likeinformation, vaccines and other supplies, In mixed crop livestock systems, men and womentraining, and market linkages will improve typically own different animals and farm differentproduction more than outreach to men alone, plots of land, and keep the income from their ownand is an opportunity to raise women’s social sales. Intensification and commercialization of dairystatus and opportunities. Gender training with and poultry typically increase women’s workload andboth men and women can increase women’s shift income from women to men, which results inuse of income from livestock enterprises, which less spending on food and household welfare.is linked to improved family nutrition, healthand welfare. In order to reach and benefit On a daily basis, women typically clean manure,women livestock keepers, it is necessary for feed animals, and treat sick individuals. Since theyall programs and activities to include women’s spend more time on the farms than their husbands,empowerment as an explicit goal, with staff they observe the animals more regularly for signstraining, budget and accountability. of disease. Milking may be done ether by men or women, but domestic processing milk is always theAlthough the African household is the place domain of women.of production and consumption, assets like cash,food, tools, labor, and decision-making power are Because of their exposure to manure, offal, milk,not shared equally. Therefore intra household raw meat and often animal birth fluids, women areanalysis is necessary to ensure that women as more exposed to zoonotic disease such aswell as men get the tools they need, and can enjoy brucellosis, tuberculosis, taenia and echinococcus.the benefits from their work. Slaughter and tanning hides exposes either men or women to anthrax depending on the ethnic group.1 Importance of livestock to women HIV/AIDS patients are especially vulnerable to allPoor rural families are more dependent on their zoonotic diseases, include cryptosporidiosis.livestock than the better off, and women are the Although women do not get infected with TB ormajority of the poor in Africa. In addition, women Brucellosis at a higher rate than men, they areheaded households (WHH) and AIDS Affected House slower to seek treatment and take medication.Holds (AAHH) are the most vulnerable to food Women are now the majority of HIV/AIDS patients ininsecurity and poverty. Increasing and protecting Africa. Women are key to the prevention of zoonoitictheir livestock assets is a key survival strategy, yet disease but only if education efforts target themintentional effort to reach them is required because specifically. Women cannot protect themselvesof their marginalized social position. from HIV until their social and economic status is strengthened. The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 5
  6. 6. 2 Species preferences 4 Constraints to accessing marketsAlthough women work with all species and sizes for animals and productsof livestock, they are often able to own and manage Women lack market contacts and informationsmall ruminants and poultry with minimal compared to men. Livestock coops rarely includeinterference from men. Milk and milk products has women, so they cannot influence group marketingtraditionally been the domain of women, whether to their benefit. WHH and poorer HH in East Africafrom cows, goats or camels. are less likely to have cell phones, which are now necessary for effective livestock trading.Vaccine and health care improvements for smallruminants and poultry will have the greatest positive Illiteracy, innumerancy, inexperience and lack ofimpact on women, since they often can control the financial skills all hinder women’s success in thebenefits from the animals. Women often depend on market place. Traders offer lower prices to womenfood and income from dairy cows and camels, because they have fewer options for selling becauseeven when their husbands have formal ownership. they cannot travel far. Women have less access toWomen prefer to own larger and more valuable credit, or are limited to the tiny amounts availableanimals to increase their economic security, through microcredit lenders, which husbands maywhich takes deliberate effort with men to ensure appropriate.their support. Women often need permission from a husband to sell an animal, even when he is away from a farm,Men own the majority of livestock in Africa, from so they are disadvantaged by delayed decisioncattle and camels to small stock and poultry, so they making. If a husband or male relatives sells aalso will benefit from improved health care for all woman’s animal or products, not all of the incomespecies. Intentional outreach to women also will return to her. Commercial dairy collectionincreases animal health care for poor men and plants usually send a milk check to the head ofmarginalized groups, and for the better off household, limiting married women’s access toproducers, due to overall increase in services. income they once enjoyed. Government regulations on informal sales of milk3 Constraints to accessing and other foods of animal origin may further limit animal health care women’s market opportunities.Although women usually are not denied access toanimal health care through deliberate decision, men 5 Improving access to animal healthreceive the bulk of training and replacement stock. services and markets for women andInformation is shared through dip tank committees other marginalized groupsor livestock producer groups, which are nearlyalways men. Transmission of information or training Groups of women or marginalized groups canfrom husbands to wives is minimal. Livestock access information, training, credit, supplies and markets much more easily than individuals, but theytraining and Farmer Days usually are not targeted to often need assistance to develop leadership andwomen, and rarely focus on women’s animals like market skills. Groups that integrate technical andsmall ruminants and poultry. Veterinarians and social objectives, and provide multiple services suchextension agents are usually men, who will not or as livestock production and literacy are the mostcannot interact with women. successful. Women belong to as many groups asWomen’s other constraints are a longer workday, men, but men’s are more agriculture and marketilliteracy, lack of mobility and lack of confidence. oriented, while women’s tend to focus on familyThey may need permission from husbands to health and welfare.travel. They need to purchase health products Animal health information can be shared throughlike medicine in the village or near the home, existing women’s networks such as PTA’s, religiousand preferably from another woman. organizations, the wives of traditional leaders and their own groups or societies. Women need to be explicitly invited to meetings and training, and men need to support their participation.The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 6
  7. 7. Animal health training should be in the village, less gender equity as a goal for all activities. Theirthan a day, in the local language without technical accountability systems look beyond the household,jargon or reliance on written materials. Women only and in addition to income generation or animaltrainings are useful to encourage women to ask production, include child nutrition and change inquestions and practice new skills. Frequent follow up gender division of labor and decision makingand self monitoring are also helpful. as indicators of success.Institutions such as government and universities Additional strategies to reach women includeoften do not have the commitment and capacity to joint activities with human health services, anddesign and implement effective training for women, partnerships with social welfare organizations.so effective partnerships with them may require Increasing the number of women as membersadditional sensitization and training. The best source and leaders in producer organizations or coopsof information, animal health products and care for takes intentional training of members, change ofwomen producers is village based and from another membership criteria and quotas.woman, so female CAHW’s are critical, but require National issues which especially impact womenintentional efforts to recruit and retain. are property rights, informal market regulationInstitutions which effectively deliver animal health and statistical assessment of women’s labor andcare products, services and training to women have participation in the national economy.developed gender policies, and explicitly designated The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 7
  8. 8. 6 Recommendations to GALVMed 1 Develop a Gender Strategy through a participatory process including management, staff, field offices, and partner organizations. Address both institutional issues such as personnel policies, and project issues such planning, monitoring and evaluation. 2 Ensure a common understanding of and commitment to gender equity and women’s empowerment for all staff and partners. 3 Designate one person to coordinate and harmonize gender related programming, training and assessment, with adequate authority, time and budget, although responsibility for gender integration must be shared by all staff and programs. 4 In addition to formal surveys, use informal data on intra-household division of labor and control. Analyze gender data in each activity location because of the differences across cultural groups. 5 Based on the literature review, and evidence of systematic marginalization of women and AAHH from animal health care activities, assume a proactive strategy to reach them, even before baseline data is collected. 6 Bundle vaccine interventions into packages that include animal health training, marketing, credit and leadership training for women 7 Prioritize vaccines and training for small ruminants and poultry which represent a greater share of women’s assets and livelihoodsThe gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 8
  9. 9. 1 IntroductionGender issues are central to the achievement of Historically, the household (HH) has been used asGALVmed’s goal of Protecting Livestock-Saving the unit of impact analysis in development, assumingHuman Life in Africa. Women are key managers of shared resources and benefits among members.most livestock, and increasing their access to animal More recent research shows that householdhealth care will improve productivity, and enhance members have different preferences, and do not pooltheir status. Although women in general own fewer their resources or labor (Quisumbing 2010), soproductive animal resources compared to men, they baseline and impact studies on resources, work loadmanage all types of livestock from cattle and camels and benefits need to be disaggregated by age, genderto sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. Women use and HIV status to be meaningful.livestock to generate food and income to enhancefood security and family welfare. Nearly all rural Throughout Africa, men and women farmfamilies have some livestock, and livestock are separate fields, keep separate budgets andincreasingly important to the urban and periurban have different responsibilities within thehouseholds (HH) as well. Two-thirds of the world’s family. They may own different livestock,600 million poor livestock keepers are rural women which may or may not be managed together,(Thornton et al. 2003). and whose products may or may notThere is common agreement among development be shared.agencies that gender inequality limits economic The African household is the place forgrowth and sustainable development in Africa, so agricultural production and consumption,enhancing recognition of the value of women and but information, income and benefits aretheir activities, and increasing their productivity not pooled.and decision-making alleviates poverty (WB, FAO, Kabeer 2003IFAD, ADB). Donors such as The Bill and MelindaGates Foundation (BMGF), and Department forInternational Development (DFID) of the United Development interventions that result in increasingKingdom insists that all development efforts explicitly resources controlled by women improve agriculturalenhance the status and well being of women. productivity, as well as family health and nutritionPoor families are disproportionately dependent on (Quisumbing 2010). However, without deliberatelivestock for their livelihoods compared to the better planning, livestock interventions can shift resourcesoff (Heffernan 2003). Women headed households from women to men, to the detriment of family(WHH) and AIDS Affected Households (AAHH) are well-being. Therefore, gender analysis and focusedamong the poorest across Africa, so their livestock targeting of information and resources is essential toare a key strategy for survival. In addition, women in project success.conventional households or compounds provide laborand expertise that make livestock production viable, Successful outreach to women mustand would benefit from increased information, intentionally overcome gender basedtechnology and social contacts. constraints, and has the added benefit of making resources more available to other Sub Saharan Africa is a vast place where marginalized people, such as poor men, and local customs and attitudes are diverse. members of AIDS Affected Households. There are some valid generalizations about FAO 2005 gender and livestock, but there is no substitute for gender and social analysis Access to and benefits from animal health services in each targeted location, both to improve and livestock markets are also gendered, so service delivery, and to help local people strategies for success and case studies from other assess their own situation and plan organizations will be examined, leading to sustainable solutions. recommendations to GALVmed. Stewart 1998 The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 9
  10. 10. 2 Definitions2.1 Gender 2.1.2 Gender Analysis is an examination of genderGender refers to the socially defined roles and difference to identify bottlenecks to production andresponsibilities of men and women in a given place equality at the household, community and nationaland time, in contrast to biological sex which is level. The most useful analytical categories areuniversal and unchanging. Age, class and ethnicity workload, access to and control of resources andare also social constructs that affect individuals’ control of benefits in the home, and membership androles, resources and rewards. Another important leadership in organizations. This type of analysis issocial variable in Africa is HIV/AIDS status, which most effectively done in a group setting, which makescarries a strong social stigma in addition to women’s work visible to men as well as the womenconsuming family resources due to health care costs, themselves, highlighting the obstacles which mustlost labor and knowledge, and funeral expenses. be overcome, and leading to specific local strategies to be implemented.In Africa, many development workers use theterms gender, sex and women interchangeably. 2.1.3 Gender Constraints are obstacles to women’s“Women’s Projects,” or “Gender Projects,” to help participation or benefit from an activity that arewomen generate income to compensate for their specific to gendered roles and opportunities in amarginalization are still popular but mostly given society. In Africa, women have less formalunsuccessful because of miniscule funding and education, less land and other natural assets, lessfailure to address the root cause of women’s access to credit and other financial resources, anddisadvantage, which is the lack of power in the family less mobility compared to men of the same age,and community. Past women’s projects typically class and ethnicity. They typically have a longergenerated low profits, or if successful, could not work day than men, so time is a serious constraint.prevent husbands from taking over. Now the phrase Local traditions and customary law may allow“gender project,” more properly refers to compo- men to appropriate women’s labor, cash andnents of any project that teaches staff and partici- livestock. Their lower social status, measured bypants how to analyze gender difference, and to close decision-making and community equality (Smithgaps so that women as well as men benefit from all 2003), leaves them vulnerable to violence andproject activities. further marginalization from productive assets or community services.Rather than simply generating income, the goal of“women’s empowerment,” includes women’s control 2.1.4 Gender mainstreaming is the strategy ofof agricultural decision-making and women’s integrating gender equality objectives into everyparticipation in and leadership of farmer aspect of an organization’s work, includingorganizations (BMGF 2008). internal practices and policies as well as project development, monitoring, evaluation and funding.2.1.1 Gender differences are not necessarily a This legitimizes gender equality as a fundamentalproblem, if they are recognized and respected. value and choice of the organization, and is bothFor example, women are more likely to view livestock a vision of a better future and a means to accomplishas means to ensure food security for the family, it (UNDP 2000).whereas men value livestock to meet present anduture cash needs (Heffernan 2003). However ifdevelopment interventions reward only incomegenerating activities at the expense of foodproduction, and women do not have the cash tobuy food, family welfare declines.The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 10
  11. 11. 2.2 Household de facto heads of household, taking on both male andAfrican households are diverse, dynamic and resist female agricultural tasks, but decision-making iseasy categorization. A household generally means a often delayed, since a woman may fear to take agroup of people who eat and live together. In Africa, it decision without the husband’s consent.is also the basic unit of production and consumption, In pastoralist societies, when husbands take herdsalthough resources are not shared equally (Kabeer away for distant grazing for weeks or months at a2003). In some polygamous households, several time, women manage their households as de factowives may occupy the same compound with the heads. Often they are active in the marketplace,husband’s family, but each woman managers her especially selling dairy products, but may lackown household, with varying degrees of support from authority to buy or sell live animals.her husband and grown sons. In other cultures, Child headed households, or children living withco-wives live far away from each other. In matrilocal elderly relatives are becoming increasingly commonsocieties in Ghana, a woman lives close to her natal as AIDS kills one or both parents. AIDS affectedfamily, which increases her social capital, or the households (AAHH) are among the poorest. In manypeople she can depend on in times of need. parts of Africa, women are more vulnerable to HIV,In some studies, each woman cooking for her own due to female biology, low status, and customarychildren is considered a woman headed household deference to men. The practice of vaginal drying(WHH), although there is an official male head of herbs in Southern Africa increases the likelihood ofhousehold (MHH) as well. If a man is present, he is female infection from a male partner. The stigma ofconsidered the “head of household,” and final AIDS further marginalizes these households fromauthority on family decisions, although some official livestock and other support services (FAO 2005).“MHH,” are young male children. Women can head Livestock are especially important for People Livingtheir own households following death or divorce With AIDS (PLWA), since they provide nutritious food,(“de jure,” or legal heads), although they often are and income for medicine. Small ruminants andstill subject to the authority of the husband’s brothers poultry are often easiest for them to acquire andor father, their own fathers, or brothers or sons. manage, because they are inexpensive compared toMany men migrate for paid work, and may return cattle, and reproduce more quickly, while stillhome weekly, monthly or rarely. Their wives become providing valuable products (FAO 2005). The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 11
  12. 12. 2.3 Ownership, property rights age and status. Often a young bride’s access to and inheritance resources is determined by her mother-in-law (MIL)Development reports in Africa often note that the rather than husband, although the MIL’s control ismale head of household is usually the “owner” of not as profound [or detrimental] as in South Asia.land and livestock, but women have some rights to Senior wives often can assert authority over junioruse them through relationships. Increasing women’s wives.assets is key to women’s empowerment. Livestock Competing preferences or interests within aare more available and socially more acceptable than household can be settled through negotiation,land, but intentional efforts are needed to build and intermediaries or force. Although the male has finalsafeguard women’s livestock assets (Kristjanson say in the African context, and his use of force is2010). culturally sanctioned, a woman’s bargaining powerThe term “ownership” is still used in most surveys often increases with the assets she brings to theand government statistics, although differentiating household, and the income she generatesbetween access and control of resources is more (Quisumbing 2003). First wives often have moreuseful to development planners. Smith-Oboler (1996) influence in polygamous households, and age bringnotes “that the concept of ownership is misplaced in increased respect and influence to both men andspeaking of indigenous African property systems. women. However, women tend to be an average ofThere is no single individual who has the kinds of 15 years younger than their husbands, less educated,rights in most cattle that are implied when an raised to defer to men, and undervalue themselvesEnglish speaker talks about “owning” something. and their work (EADD 2010). They lack confidenceIn the case of cattle, the rights of control by any and are often unable to recognize or assert theirindividual are constrained by the rights to the same concerns, preferences or rights.animal held by other individuals.” Men are expected to make decisions forMen and women differ in the types of rights they the entire household, but often lackhave to livestock. Meinzen-Dick et al (2005) explains information on women’s activities, especiallyproperty rights as overlapping “bundles,” which can the time and resources needed to producebe grouped as use rights (usufruct) and control or food for the family, and provide cooking,decision making rights, such as sale, slaughter or cleaning and health maintenance. Men oftengifting. These rights are flexible and dynamic do not intend to overload their wives withdepending on social relations, the weather conditions work or deprive them of resources, but(drought or non-drought) and the value of the animal. communication norms in the traditionalSeveral individuals or groups may have different household make transparent sharing ofkinds of rights over the same resource. information between men and women difficult.For example, in some cases women control cattle Quisumbing 2010milk when it is used for home consumption, howeverthey cannot sell it and keep the income (Valdivia Although the modern sense of “ownership,” meaning2001). Guèye (2000), in a review of backyard poultry absolute decision-making and control of property isin Africa, notes that women often own and care for increasing across Africa, customary meanings stillpoultry; however, they can seldom take sole decision protect rural women’s right to livestock. Formal andover the use of the birds or eggs (consumption, recognized ownership rights would bring womenselling, exchange etc.). McPeak and Doss (2006) greater protection, but this is often beyond theirfound that, among mobile pastoralists in northern means. Since ownership systems are in transition,Kenya, women had the right to sell milk; however, women easily lose control of livestock, especiallymen were responsible for the overall herd, and chose after a husband’s death, due to “property grabbing,”which animals to milk or sell. by his relatives. Governments are aware of this, andBuhl and Homewood (2000) notes that there is Botswana has tried to outlaw it, with limited success.always a household head whom must be informed of Some NGO’s have worked with traditional leadersdecisions, and there are further levels of subordinate willing to enforce “joint ownership,” contracts sodecision-making. Every household member has a widow’s property rights to livestock can be preserved.range of rights and obligations determined by sex, (Heifer Zambia 2010).The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 12
  13. 13. In many places in Africa including Ethiopia, upholding Large animals such as cattle often need to befemale property and inheritance rights helps prevent “registered,” in parts of Africa where dipping is“levirate marriage,” of a widow to the dead husband’s common to control tick borne disease. In practice,brother, because she will have resources to maintain nearly all cattle are registered in a man’s name, andherself (Flinan 2008). Preserving women’s property he is responsible for bringing animals to the dippingand inheritance rights are key for women acting location, and interacting with animal health staff.as heads and/or primary caregivers of HIV/AIDSaffected households (Kabeer 2003). Zimbabwean women’s cattle are generally registered in their husband’s names withIn Muslim areas, girls are supposed to inherit half as the Department of Veterinary Services formuch as their brothers after the death of a father, dipping, and this excludes them frombut this may not occur in practice, and questioning information and other livestock initiativesmale decisions may not be tolerated (Kabeer 2003). Chawatama et al. 2005Women often own livestock in name only, and their Transmission of information from husbandsanimals become mingled into the family or clan herd. to wives about livestock is unreliable, and isTalle (1988) notes among the Maasai, women estimated at under 5%.ostensibly own cattle and small stock but don’t Maarse 1999exercise any real control over off take. If her husbandis not present during an emergency, a woman needsto consult a male relative prior to selling stock, who Therefore, dip registration could be an opportunityis responsible for defending the decision upon the to document ownership of individual animals, andhusband’s return. increase transparency in ownership which women individually cannot demand. Improved registries willWomen often receive gifts of livestock from relatives, not only help women assert claims to benefits fromwhich are then managed by their menfolk on their these animals (although they may also inherit feesbehalf, but women are forbidden from enquiring after for services), it will help epidemiologists understandthem. In southern Africa, the mother of a bride herd mingling patterns which affect diseaseusually receives a cow from the groom’s family, and transmission, and trace epizootics back to theirsome women have become wealthy as these cows source.reproduce over the years. However, most of the“mother’s cattle,” are taken into the family herd and Livestock or land ownership is often necessary to joinare not seen again. There is a bitter joke among Livestock Associations, where technical and marketwomen in Zambia that during hard times, the information is shared, and decisions on prices are“mother’s cattle,” die or are “carried off by wild taken. Women are effectively excluded due to lack ofbeasts,” at a higher rate than others (Miller 2002). formal ownership (Waters-Bayer 2010).However, among Fulani pastoralists in Burkino Faso,no woman complained [to the anthropologist Women’s ability to claim ownership of valuableauthors] that male family members cared less well livestock and make management decisions varyfor her animals than the herder’s own (Buhl 2000). widely across ethnic groups. Tuareg women in Niger have long been autonomous in their livestockKristjanson et al (2010) found no published evidence management, and can become wealthier than theirthat women lose animals to drought, disease or theft husbands (Niamir-Fuller 1994). Ethiopian womenat a higher rate than do men, but this has not been increasingly participate in open livestock marketsinvestigated systematically, nor have self-managed by buying and selling live bulls (Rubin 2010).and male managed animals been compared. Given However, women must have starting capital,women’s limited access to livestock-related inputs financial information and a supportive cultureand services, it is likely that they do lose more of their to assert their rights to livestock.self-managed animals, which could decimate theirasset base. The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 13
  14. 14. 3 Roles of livestock3.1 Priorities As banking and financial services improve acrossWomen prioritize keeping livestock to provide for Africa, and pasture resources shrink, the “non food,”family food, and use milk, meat and eggs to feed the function of livestock is predicted to decrease.family, or purchase foodstuffs with cash from the Modern production practices include chemicalsale of surplus, while men keep animals for income, fertilizer rather than manure, mechanical power overemergencies, social status, and gift giving (Heffernan animal traction, and bridepride in cash rather than2003). cattle. The market for food of animal origin is continuing to grow, but as formal markets overtakeTraditional or sacrificial uses of livestock are informal local sales, women’s participation in andimportant to both men and women, and although benefit from sales tend to decrease, unlessthese uses do not show up on an economic ledger intentional provisions are made (Gerber 2010).or survey, they influence people’s preferences anddecision-making. For example, poultry often have a 3.2 What is work?significant customary role in addition to home Government, the United Nationals (UN) andconsumption and exchange for goods and services. academic surveys have long underestimatedIn Ghana chickens play a special leading role in women’s contribution to all aspects of agriculturecementing marriages, friendships and even resolving when using the narrow International Labourquarrels and enmity between neighbours, lovers, Organization (ILO) definition of “work,” as activitiesbrothers and comrades. Referring to a specific done for pay or profit. Women’s unpaid work withintraditional society of the Manprusi in Ghana, Veluw the household was therefore invisible and unvalued,(1987) report the functions of poultry as 35% and women’s activities received neither attentionsacrifice, 28% sale, 15% consumption, 13% gift and nor resources to improve productivity or reduce10% breeding stock. In Niger, home consumption drudgery. Today there is broad agreement thatand ceremonies account for 35%, gifts 20%, sales or “work,” must include both paid and unpaid laborbarter 45% (Kaiser 1988). In the case of Ghana as a in the household and both formal and informalwhole, 71% of poultry eggs are kept for hatching, markets (Latigo 2004). NGO’s are increasingly using18% for sale, 5% for gifts and 5% for consumption this strategy, and some United Nations indices areKitalyi (1996). trying to use it, but older definitions prevail,When cattle or goats are milked, women prioritize continuing to hide women’s labor from nationalhome consumption while men prefer to sell it. and international attention, and thereforeIncreasing commercial opportunities can turn milk resources (Kabeer 2003).production into a “cash crop” at the expense of childnutrition, creating intra household conflict (Maarse 3.3 Livestock management1999). Therefore, child nutrition is a better indicator Gender roles in livestock management vary by class,of family welfare than income. age and ethnicity. The main activities are feeding,Both men and women will sell chickens or a goat watering, milking, cleaning, slaughtering, breedingto pay for school fees or buy food or medicine. The and animal health care.majority of cattle in Kenya are sold by pastoralists to Among both mobile pastoralists, and settledpurchase food and other basic needs such as paraffin agropastoraists, from a very young age, children arefor lamps and cooking oil. (Heffernan 2004). Both involved in herding, with girls herding small stockmen and women keep livestock as a form of savings, with boys, and young men responsible for cattlewhich can be sold in times of need. (Bekure 1991).The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 14
  15. 15. Girls are more likely to be kept home from school to for the daily on farm activities. Men attend to the offhelp their mothers with agricultural tasks including farm activities, such as herding, or purchasing inputsgathering feed and water for livestock. When such as supplemental feeds, veterinary drugs andchildren are orphaned, and live on their own, they new animals. However, this varies greatly dependingoften do not know how to care for animals, and on ethnicity, proximity to shops, and educationproduction declines. They may not be strong enough (Heffernan 2003).or wealthy enough to provide inputs such as For example, women dairy farmers in Tanzaniasupplemental feed, vaccines or animal health reported that if an item such as concentrate orproducts (FAO 2005). medicine were available in the village, they wouldOlder men and women with weakened physical walk there and purchase it directly. However, if travelstrength can still be seen herding sheep and goats, were out of the village, the husband or son wouldand also sharing information in markets and public purchase it, but the arrival might not be as timely asmeeting places. Age is greatly respected in African needed. Muslim women whose mobility was evensocieties, and women especially find their status more restricted, always relied on male relatives forimproves after they become the mother of sons and dairy purchases, but often found the incorrect itemthen grandmothers. When their childbearing years had been purchased for them. They would prefer toare over and they become “more like men,” have supplies directly delivered to their homes.(Rasmussen 2000), they can have more autonomy. Literate women were more confident aboutDue to the AIDS epidemic, however, many purchasing recommended items, since they couldgrandparents find themselves caring for read the labels (Kirui 1994).grandchildren and orphans, which deplete household Men provide most of the herding of larger animalsresources. If they do not have the strength to care for like cattle and camels, while women and children arelivestock, they may be forced to sell them. If illness more likely to herd small ruminants. This varies bylimits their mobility, they may have more difficulty distance from the homestead, pasture availabilityaccessing information and inputs to keep animals and ethnicity. When large animals are kept close tohealthy. When they die, the orphaned children have the home, women are more likely to be in charge ofno one to teach them how to grow crops or manage grazing or cutting and carrying feed to them. Menlivestock, increasing their vulnerability. and women both have specialized knowledge about feeds and pastures, however men are more likely to3.3.1 Daily chores have modern knowledge of improved pastures andLivestock need daily food, water, sanitation, disease control due to increased contact withobservation for disease, and for dairy animals, extension agents (Heffernan 2003).milking. In general, women are more responsible The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 15
  16. 16. Increased confinement especially with dairy animals 3.3.2 Slaughtercan increase women’s workload as they physically Slaughter of larger animals like cattle is typicallycollect and carry feed and water to the animals. A done by men, although there is more flexibility insingle cow can drink 50 litres of water a day, and practice than generally acknowledged (FAO 2005).carrying water by headload is an onerous and time Women usually slaughter chickens and sometimesconsuming task. As more boys and girls attend small ruminants. Women typically cook the meat,school, the workload for individual women also and are responsible for sanitary handling to preventincreases. Therefore, reducing women’s workload is zoonotic disease. They are also responsible foressential to improving livestock production as well handling the offal, or unused internal organs suchas quality of life for women (Kirui 1994). as intestinal contents, bones or lungs, which isCleaning manure is universally a female task. another source of zoonotic disease transmission.Women may collect it to make dung cakes for fuel Tanning hides into leather is also gendered, but inor housing, or compost it or use it for fertilizer. some cultures it is the exclusive activity of men andSanitation and clean barns or kraals are especially in others it is women (Robinson 2003).important for confined animals, since internalparasites are easily transmitted back to animals 3.3.3 Livestock breedingif manure builds up. Women and girls who clean Many studies claim that livestock breeding ismanure with bare hands are vulnerable to zoonotic the domain of men, but when animals are confineddisease and fecal contamination of the family near the home, it is women who notice signsfood supply. of heat indicating the animal is ready for breeding.In most pastoralist societies, women milk animals In addition, women are expected to know moreand process it for home use or sale (Talle 1988), about dystocia (birthing difficulties) and otherbut milking responsibilities do vary widely Africa. female reproductive disorders because of theirAmong the Fulani, men milk and bring it to the personal experience as females. Women managingwomen, who can use it as food or market it and stall fed dairy cattle in Kenya where artificialkeep the income. Among settled Ugandan insemination (AI) is available have to contact theagropastoralists, men typically milk the cows, and AI technician to breed the cows. Women werebring some to their wives, while keeping knowledge as likely to contact the AI tech as male dairyof total production to themselves, to prevent wives managers (Maarse 1999).from demanding more for household use(Kirui 1994).The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 16
  17. 17. Pastoralist men may spend a large amount of time Nearly all Artificial Insemination (AI) technicians inselecting the proper male to breed to each cow, Africa are men, who can often make a comfortablebalancing many desirable genetic traits such as living from providing the service. Livestockappearance, mothering ability, fecundity and management procedures requiring traininglongevity. For women, the most valued genetic or physical strength such as branding or insertingtraits are those allowing animals to survive nose rings in bulls are typically performed by menwith minimal inputs, and are typically found in (Ayoade 2009).indigenous breeds, while exotic breeds that are Bekure (1991) found that pastoralist men identifiedless hardy require more labor to supply them with themselves as managers and supervisors ofadditional feed and water (Köhler-Rollefson 2000). livestock activity, and assigned subordinatesAmong settled dairy producers in East Africa, (male and female) to actual tasks. Their mainthe introduction of male cattle (bulls) with the responsibilities were gathering information ongenes for increased milk production could range conditions, water availability, and the market.significantly increase output per daughter, They made the subsequent herding decisions, asif she is fed and managed efficiently. By tradition, well as decisions on the sale and slaughteruncontrolled breeding of cows to any available of animals.male was the norm amongst dairy farmerssurveyed (EADD 2009). After training and the In Kenya in the 1980’s, the National Dairyavailability of improved or exotic males to genetically Development Program (NDDP) recommendedupgrade local cows, controlled mating of cows castration of non-breeding male cattle andincreased. Among dairy producers in Kenya, Uganda goats to improve dairy herds. The procedureand Rwanda, controlled mating was used by 26% was typically performed by men, althoughof the sampled households, and highest in Kenya women were quite capable and interestedwhere 39% of female headed and 33% of male in learning.headed households reported practicing it. A female livestock officer in Kenya reportedCastration of non-breeding males is a that she was prevented from demonstratingrecommended technology to improve the genetic goat castration to a mixed sex group ofquality of a breeding herd of animals, making farmers because her supervisor wascontrolled breeding easier. In 2009, the East Africa uncomfortable. In the 1990’s, this was stillDairy Development (EADD) project found that 24% of considered unremarkable, although she didfemale headed and 19% of male headed households protest the decision as undermining herusing castration of non-breeding male cattle in expertise and utility.Kenya, while in Uganda, 16% of female headed and Maarse 199815% of male headed households reported doing so.Although the survey did not ask who performed theoperation, or confirm how often it was done, theFHH were more likely to adopt the practice. The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 17
  18. 18. 3.3.4 Animal health activities more, but cited lack cash or credit to make theAnimal health responsibilities within the household purchase (Hill 2009). Men are also more likely tovary widely as well. Bekure (1991) noted that in most own wheelbarrows and barn boots than women.pastoralist societies, women are responsible for Both men and women use manure on forage cropscaring for the young stock and any sick animals. like napier grass, but there can be competition forThey are expected to observe animals returning this resource. Women are more likely to usefrom pastures in the evening for problems. Among manure on napier when they keep milk income,settled agro-pastoralists, women are on the farm but will divert it to food crops if they do not realizemore than men, so they are more likely to notice any benefits from dairy production (Kirui, 1994).signs of illness like poor appetite, nasal discharge Animal health monitoring and delivery systemsor lethargy. in most countries tend to be male-dominated,Both men and women report inadequate public and thus contributing to the exclusion of “women’sprivate veterinary staff and extension officers to livestock,” from organized animal health activities.meet their animal health needs. Therefore, the main Participatory appraisal techniques provide the idealhealth care activity for both was the purchase of means of gaining a deeper understanding of themedicine to treat sick individual animals (Okumba dynamics of women’s farming activities, and2010) or consultation with a traditional healer. particularly of the diseases affecting their livestock (FAO 2000). These techniques tend to be used byIn Heffernan’s 2003 study in Kenya, both men and NGO’s more than government or large multilateralwomen livestock keepers purchase veterinary drugs donors.from dukas or agrovet stores. The majority ofwomen interviewed stated a preference for buying It is generally true that an interview conducted by adrugs close to home. There was a perceived male animal health worker with a male householdopportunity cost of travel time for women as most head will yield little information of any value onhad household and child-rearing responsibilities. livestock managed by women members of theAlso, women were more often involved in curative household (FAO 2000).treatments and hence had a more urgent need tosource drugs close to home. Men were generally 3.3.5 Indigenous Knowledge Systemsresponsible for preventative animal healthcare e.g. Both men and women are repositories of localthe purchase of tick dip and dewormers. More men knowledge, including grazing areas, local namesstated that price was a factor in purchases, but both for disease and traditional remedies. In Cameroon,valued advice from the seller. More women than traditional animal healers are mostly men, while inmen chose specific providers due to issues of trust. East Africa, women are equally likely to possessIn Rwanda and Uganda, male headed households this knowledge (Hill 2009). Young people are oftenspent more on animal health than female headed uninterested in traditional ways, and governmenthouseholds. WHHs spent $62/year while MHHs and private veterinarians and animal health agentsspent $89/year. There were no significant often look down upon traditional medicines,differences in male and female headed household although they are used by the majority of livestockexpenditure on artificial insemination or bull keepers. The best animal health programs buildservice in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda combined on existing and working methods and add new(EADD 2009). technologies like vaccines to them (Heffernan 2003).Men and women both purchase inputs such as Often livestock research on local knowledgeconcentrates or hay for their animals, but men excludes women which limits the understandingpurchase more. Women would like to purchase of the system. (Waters-Bayer 2010)The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 18
  19. 19. 3.3.6 Assessing gender roles in livestock production While interviewing men for her thesis onThe magnitude and importance of women’s livestock extension for women, Amugunilivestock activities still perplexes researchers noted that one man said he completes mostand front line extension and veterinary of the duties relating to animal care.professionals. Ayoade et al (2009) found that Meanwhile, his wife was carrying out thewomen in northern Nigeria perform fodder cutting, tasks as he spoke. When asked who she was,watering and feeding of animals, shed cleaning, he responded, “When I said I do the work,milking and dung cake making on a daily basis. I actually meant we do the work.” It is typicalOddly enough, they conclude that the majority for women to under report their contributions and for men to over report theirs.of the women rarely participated in livestockproduction! Their survey identified 14 different Amuguni 1999management practices, and they asked womenif they ever performed each activity. They did The English word “shared,” or “joint control,” can benot ask about the frequency of each task, or misunderstood in surveys on gender and livestock.how much time was involved. Since women Many men reported shared decision-making withrarely castrated or branded stock, and said their wives on the EADD 2009 survey, but this wasthey diagnosed disease or vaccinated “rarely,” not confirmed by their wives. Dairy farmers havethe authors calculated a participation had enough experience with donors in East Africa toindex score minimizing women’s participation. know the “correct” answer. In Tanzania, womenMen’s activities, which occurred once a year such reported being informed of decisions after they wereas castration and branding, rather than daily, made, by husbands who claimed to “share,”were not measured at all. decision making. This was still considered more progressive than traditional households where menThe English word “participation,” can be used did not routinely inform their wives of anything, andto mean either work or decision-making, and simply gave orders (Kirui 1994).has been used to justify lack of specific outreachto women since they already “participate,” in Among the Kikuyu in Kenya, there is a sayinglivestock through their (unpaid) labour. Wives as “Cia mucii ti como,” or home affairs cannot be toldwell as husbands may become members in to the public, which limits the value of responses togroups such as producers’ organizations to satisfy intra-household survey questions with strangers.a donor’s request to increase women’s participation, Participatory methods, especially with single sexwithout changing their subordinate status or groups can raise difficult questions in a saferlack of decision-making. It is the quality of the setting, yielding valuable information to projectparticipation, including decision-making, which planners, and more valuable insights amongindicates whether women have the resources participants (Maarse 1998).and control to improve their lives and that oftheir families.Surveys on gender division of labor can also bemisleading if respondents’ answers are notconfirmed. For this reason, Participatory RuralAppraisal (PRA) and related tools are preferredbecause the facilitator and other participants canprobe misleading assertions. For example, theEADD 2009 baseline survey reported that in Ugandaand Rwanda, men do most of the dairy work,although the responses were not genderdisaggregated. The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 19
  20. 20. 3.4 Zoonoses The World Health Organization (WHO) notesOwing to their close proximity to animals and their that socioeconomic factors have an impact onhandling of raw animal products, women are in tuberculosis (TB) control efforts, especially formany cases more exposed to zoonotic diseases. women, who suffer from disproportionate poverty,(Kristjanson 2010) low social status, less education (which impedes seeking diagnosis), and barriers to health care.Awareness of men and women’s different roles in Tuberculosis is often linked to HIV infection in Africalivestock production and food handling can increase and is the third leading cause of death amongthe effectiveness of Veterinary Public Health (VPH) women of reproductive age (15–44 years) ineducational campaigns. For example, Echinoccocus low-income countries (WHO 2009).is transmitted through dogs eating offal frominfected ruminants, and infecting humans through In general, when a woman is sick with TB, thetheir feces. impact on her household is greater than with an ill man, and food production and preparation decline. Female children are expected to take on far more The echinococcosis eradication campaign household responsibility than male children, in Morocco targeted existing women’s groups limiting their education. Further, women are most for training in safe offal disposal because likely to be guardians of sick patients and thus more they were the ones who actually handled it, likely to lose time for income-earning opportunities. and were most concerned about their children (Kemp 2005). contracting the disease. This was considered extremely innovative because most VPH Women may find it more difficult to comply with messages were disseminated through all treatment once symptoms subside, especially if they male producer groups or male veterinarians live far from health services, and there are actual or extension agents. and opportunity costs to being away from home, even if the cost of medicine is subsidized. Often (Robinson 2003; Kachani 2011). uneducated women do not understand the course of the disease, and may equate decline of symptomsSince women handle milk for family use and sale, with a cure, while men are more likely to be literate,sanitation training will have greater impact when and read the literature offered at the health clinicgiven directly to them. Pasteurization of cow and (WHO 2009). When faced with inadequate resources,goat milk will prevent transmission of brucellosis, women tend to decrease expenditures on their owntuberculosis and other zoonotic agents, but will only food and health first (Quisumbing 2010).occur when women understand its importance. Women, children and ethnic minorities, especiallyEndemic zoonotic diseases such as anthrax, those living in remote areas with restricted accesstuberculosis, brucellosis, cysticercosis, to services, are most at risk of all infectious disease,echinococcosis (hydatid disease), rabies and including zoonoses. In general, women are morezoonotic trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) occur exposed to communicable diseases than are men –throughout the African continent where conditions and suffer more in terms of both illness and death.for their maintenance and spread exist. These Women also face additional barriers to seekingdiseases perpetuate poverty by attacking not only and receiving treatment. The consequences ofpeople’s health but also their livelihoods. Women’s stigma attached to many neglected tropicalactive participation in educational and monitoring diseases [especially TB] are often more severeevents will be critical for successful control, but will for women within their families and wider societytake greater effort than currently exists (WHO 2009). (WHO 2009). People Living With AIDS (PLWA) are especiallyAnthrax infection is associated with tanning and susceptible to zoonotic diseases, such ashandling of hides, which is strongly gendered in cryptosporidiosis, which is not generally a problemmost cultures, but not predictably male or female. for healthy individuals. Therefore, AAHH need more education and resources to prevent zoonotic infection (FAO 2005).The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 20
  21. 21. 4 Species preferencesMen tend to own more livestock than women, Livestock interventions must tailor their activities toespecially large and valuable animals like cattle and local conditions and behaviors. Heifer International’scamels. Women often find it easier to assert rights Samburu Camel Project in Kenya distributed camelsto smaller animals such as sheep, goats, pigs or to women to addresses gender inequality becausepoultry which are perceived as less valuable. When they could be owned and milked by the women.their livestock enterprises become commercially Cattle and other species are considered the propertysuccessful, men often take over both the of the husbands. The camel has become known asmanagement and profits (Miller 2001). “the women’s dairy cow,” (Heifer International 2001). Due to changing economic circumstances, such as4.1 Cattle and camels male migration or death due to AIDS, women areThere is a cattle bias in Africa. Cattle are valued taking on responsibilities for livestock that had beenbeyond their economic or food security function. in the realm of men, such as cattle in southernThis bias goes beyond the traditional cattle cultures Africa. Women from Ethiopia to Zambia are learninglike the Maasai that define themselves by their cattle, to use cattle to plow (Waters-Bayer 2010).to include researchers, government and donors.To best address women’s needs in animal health, 4.1.1 Dairy Cattleit is necessary to look beyond cattle, and includesmall ruminants and poultry. In Tanzania, 51% of the Milking cattle is often the domain of women,women interviewed mentioned that they wanted to such as among the Karamojong and Jie in Ugandareceive information on small ruminant production (Niamer-Fuller 1994), although the cow may bebut extension agents were only interested in cattle owned or managed by her husband or other male(Kristjanson 2010). relative. Many women have full control of the milk, including sale and use of income.Ownership, use and contact with cattle is linked toboth ethnicity and gender. Among the Samburu in Women increasingly own exotic dairy cattle,Kenya, men own all the cattle, but in Ethiopia among especially in East Africa, although they often receivemixed crop livestock farmers, both men and women them as “living loans,” from NGO’s while men tend toowned cattle, sheep and goats, although men owned purchase them outright. Dairy cattle under women’smore of each (Yisehak 2008). control performed better than those managed by men, provided they could keep some or all of theIn Afra and Oromiya regions of Ethiopia, men own income generated (Maarse 1999).and look after the camels that need to be taken todistant pastures and water, while women own and Likewise, milk processing and marketing in thelook after small stock that is managed close to the informal sector tend to be women’s work, evenhome (Care Ethiopia 2008). Touareg women in where women are not involved in the actual taskAlgeria, Niger and Mali may own and herd cattle and of milking. As chilling plants and factories becomecamels as well as small ruminants, while Somali more common, dairy income tends to shift fromwomen manage the cattle, sheep and goats and their women to men because checks are sent weeklymenfolk care for the camels (Niamir-Fuller 1994). to the head of household. The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project is considering requiringIn Botswana, men and women both own cattle and members of the cooperatives to use “family bankgoats, but men own 5 times more cattle and 3 times accounts,” that both husbands and wives couldmore goats than women. However, goats constituted access, so that women would not have to aska larger share of women’s livestock portfolio husbands for cash, but this has not yet been(Oladele 2008). implemented (EADD 2010). The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 21
  22. 22. 4.1.2 Draft oxen 4.2 Small Ruminants (SR)Animal traction has been introduced to Africa fairly Women who cannot own cattle are often able torecently, but has the potential to increase crop own, manage and control the sale of smalleracreage and income. Oxen are usually considered livestock, such as sheep and goats. Goat projectsmen’s animals, and they facilitate men’s most for food and income in Africa are often focused onimportant agricultural task, preparing land for women, because they are the ones usuallyplanting. Cotton and other cash crops are favored responsible for looking after them (Peacock, 1996).for this newly cultivated land. However, gender blind Although men own more sheep and goats inanimal traction projects can be devastating for absolute numbers, they are more important towomen and their children. Women’s labor gets women since they make up a larger share of theirreallocated to weeding the cash crop, leaving less livestock portfolio (Oladele 2008). Poorer householdstime for food crops and health maintenance. which have fewer cattle are more dependent on small ruminants than their wealthier neighbors,Due to male migration to cities in search of paid making diseases and losses of them relatively morelabor, and the resulting “femininzation,” of costly and potentially devastating (Perry 2009).agriculture, women are increasingly using oxento plow land and transport goods. Women value the milk from small ruminants because they know it is nutritious for their children. Men are less likely to intervene with their sales of Gokwe, Zimbabwe Draft Animal Project surplus because amounts are so small. However, Heifer International supplied draft oxen to they do become interested when operations expand marginalized Tonga families in Zimbabwe, and and larger profits are generated. household income rose 400% in just 5 years, Small ruminants, like swine and poultry, are due to expansion of the cotton cash crop. Group “short cycle,” animals meaning they reproduce fairly members were delighted, but when visited in quickly, bringing a quick return on investment. their homes, their wives were troubled. Children For poorer women and men who need cash, this is were sick and hungry because women could no a great advantage, since the wealthy are more likely longer produce enough food. They feared to ask to have other resources to live on while waiting for for money from their husbands, considering it their cattle to reproduce. disrespectful. Much of the profit had gone towards brideprice for new wives, to produce 4.3 Swine children to weed the crops, making older wives’ Swine production is increasing in parts of Africa due situation more precarious. AIDS infection rate to the strong market in non-Muslim areas, and many skyrocketed due to cotton profits used to pay women find them good investments. Pig production prostitutes. is increasing in Uganda (EADD 2009), Cameroon, This one project galvanized Heifer International Central African Republic and Zimbabwe (PigTrop). to accept that inattention to gender can be Most pigs are raised in a semi-intensive scavenging detrimental to family welfare, and that income system where owners provide shelter and water, and alone is a poor indicator of development success. about half of their food. In Botswana, most of the pig This led to the development of their proactive raisers were married women over 40 years old (Cirad Gender Program in 1996. 2005). Although African Swine Fever is endemic throughout sub Saharan Africa, outbreaks are sporadic. (Miller 2000) As swine populations increase, and production intensifies, the risk of outbreaks increase (PigTrop).The gender and social dimensions to livestock keeping in Africa I Page 22

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