Gender aspects of climate change

Effects of Climate Smart Agriculture on gender relationship and livelihood security among southern Ethiopian women farmers (Ziway,Loca-abaya and Halaba)

By Meseret Tsige, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Background

According to FAO (2013), Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach to developing the technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate. CSA takes into considerations the social, economic and environmental contexts. This study will inquire the socio-economic problems and opportunities women farmers are facing in applying and using CSA technologies. Specifically the study will assess whether CSA technologies helped women farmers in increasing their livelihood or not and if their gender relationship within their household and in their community is transformedbecause of using CSAtechnologies.

The gender-based inequalities in accessing and controlling critical livelihood assets such as land, credit, technology, and information, as well as participation in farmers’ organizations and other decision-making processes restrict women from having livelihood assets and from adapting agricultural technologies. Differentiated power relations between men and women and unequal access to and control over assets mean that men and women do not have the same adaptive capacity; instead, women have distinct vulnerability, exposure to risk, coping capacity, and ability to recover from climate change impacts (Masika2002).

Adapting and using agricultural technologies is a big challenge for women farmers in developing countries like Ethiopia. There are many reasons for this to happen for instance, Doss (2001) pointed out that technology generation has tended to favour crops traditionally grown by men who frequently have greater access to labour markets, credits than women farmers do. Agricultural extension services and technology development frequently target men, wrongly assuming men will convey information to women (Lambrou and Laub, 2004).

Research questions

What are the socio-economic opportunities and constraints to the adoption of Climate Smart Agricultural technologies?How is gender affecting the uptake of new agricultural technologies and what are the gender related barriers to the diffusion, uptake and rejection of Climate Smart Agriculture technologies?What are the impacts of uptake of Climate Smart Agricultural technologies on gender relations and livelihood security?Are current models for adoption of agricultural technologies adequate for explaining uptake of new technologies?  Will be the guiding research questions of the study.

Methodology

Rogers’s model of technology adoption and diffusion of innovation theories, livelihood framework developed by DIFIED and Feministstandpointtheory are scientific guidelines to interpret the data. Both qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods and analysis using descriptive, inferential, thematic and narrative analysis are designed as methods of inquiries.

Doss, C.R. (2001) 'Designing agricultural technology for African women farmers: Lessons from 25 years of experience. World Development 29: 2075-2092.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2013) Climate smart agriculture source book(www.fao.org/publications).

Lambrou, Yianna, and Regina Laub. 2004. Gender Perspectives on the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification. Rome: FAO.

Masika, Rachel. 2002. “Gender and Climate Change.” Gender and Development Journal 10 (2): 2–9.

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