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The impact of gender-blindness on social-ecological resilience: The case of a communal pasture in the highlands of Ethiopia

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ABSTRACT

We studied how the failure to take into account gendered roles in the management of a communal pasture can affect the resilience of this social-ecological system. Datawere collected using qualitative methods, including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and participant observations from one community in the highlands of Ethiopia. The results show that women are excluded from the informal institution that defines the access and use rules which guide the management of the communal pasture. Consequently, women’s knowledge, preferences, and needs are not taken into account. This negatively affects the resilience of the communal pasture in two ways. Firstly, the exclusion of women’s knowledge leads to future adaptation options being overlooked. Secondly, as a result of the failure to address women’s needs, they start to question the legitimacy of the informal institution. The case study thus shows how excluding women, i.e., side-lining their knowledge and needs, weakens social learning and the adaptiveness of the management rules. Being blind to gender-related issues may thus undermine the resilience of a social-ecological system.

No MeSH data available.


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Typical landscape in Burie district during the rainy season. Cattle is grazing on a pasture and the risk of soil erosion due to overgrazing can be seen in the areas with bare soil. Land use is dominated by subsistence farming. Due to population growth, there is an increasing pressure to convert pastures into crop land, which increases the pressure on the remaining pastures. Indeed, in this mixed-crop livestock system, cattle plays an important role as oxen are needed to plough the fields
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Fig2: Typical landscape in Burie district during the rainy season. Cattle is grazing on a pasture and the risk of soil erosion due to overgrazing can be seen in the areas with bare soil. Land use is dominated by subsistence farming. Due to population growth, there is an increasing pressure to convert pastures into crop land, which increases the pressure on the remaining pastures. Indeed, in this mixed-crop livestock system, cattle plays an important role as oxen are needed to plough the fields

Mentions: Kuwalla is characterized by a subsistence mixed farming system, which integrates rain-fed crop cultivation and traditional animal husbandry (Fig. 2). Mixed farming is typical in the Ethiopian highlands and cattle (Bos indicus) play an important role as oxen are used to plough fields, while cows produce milk for household consumption, and milk products contribute to income generation. Farmers predominantly produce maize (Zea mays), millet (Eleusine coracana), tef (Eragrostis abyssinica), wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), faba bean (Vicia faba), field pea (Pisum sativum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), onion (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and pepper (Capsicum spp.). The crop residues, despite their low nutrient content, make up 50 % of feed for the farm animals. Communal pasture plays a key role as a source of nutritious feed for oxen and cows and contributes 31 % of the total livestock feed. Grass from farm boundaries contributes 11 % and the free grazing area 8 % of the total animal feed.Fig. 2


The impact of gender-blindness on social-ecological resilience: The case of a communal pasture in the highlands of Ethiopia
Typical landscape in Burie district during the rainy season. Cattle is grazing on a pasture and the risk of soil erosion due to overgrazing can be seen in the areas with bare soil. Land use is dominated by subsistence farming. Due to population growth, there is an increasing pressure to convert pastures into crop land, which increases the pressure on the remaining pastures. Indeed, in this mixed-crop livestock system, cattle plays an important role as oxen are needed to plough the fields
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120030&req=5

Fig2: Typical landscape in Burie district during the rainy season. Cattle is grazing on a pasture and the risk of soil erosion due to overgrazing can be seen in the areas with bare soil. Land use is dominated by subsistence farming. Due to population growth, there is an increasing pressure to convert pastures into crop land, which increases the pressure on the remaining pastures. Indeed, in this mixed-crop livestock system, cattle plays an important role as oxen are needed to plough the fields
Mentions: Kuwalla is characterized by a subsistence mixed farming system, which integrates rain-fed crop cultivation and traditional animal husbandry (Fig. 2). Mixed farming is typical in the Ethiopian highlands and cattle (Bos indicus) play an important role as oxen are used to plough fields, while cows produce milk for household consumption, and milk products contribute to income generation. Farmers predominantly produce maize (Zea mays), millet (Eleusine coracana), tef (Eragrostis abyssinica), wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), faba bean (Vicia faba), field pea (Pisum sativum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), onion (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and pepper (Capsicum spp.). The crop residues, despite their low nutrient content, make up 50 % of feed for the farm animals. Communal pasture plays a key role as a source of nutritious feed for oxen and cows and contributes 31 % of the total livestock feed. Grass from farm boundaries contributes 11 % and the free grazing area 8 % of the total animal feed.Fig. 2

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

We studied how the failure to take into account gendered roles in the management of a communal pasture can affect the resilience of this social-ecological system. Datawere collected using qualitative methods, including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and participant observations from one community in the highlands of Ethiopia. The results show that women are excluded from the informal institution that defines the access and use rules which guide the management of the communal pasture. Consequently, women’s knowledge, preferences, and needs are not taken into account. This negatively affects the resilience of the communal pasture in two ways. Firstly, the exclusion of women’s knowledge leads to future adaptation options being overlooked. Secondly, as a result of the failure to address women’s needs, they start to question the legitimacy of the informal institution. The case study thus shows how excluding women, i.e., side-lining their knowledge and needs, weakens social learning and the adaptiveness of the management rules. Being blind to gender-related issues may thus undermine the resilience of a social-ecological system.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus