RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016


49 Geographies of migration, gender and agrarian change in the Global South (2)
Convenor(s) Fraser Sugden (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Stephanie Leder (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Chair(s) Fraser Sugden (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Timetable Wednesday 31 August 2016, Session 2 (11:10 - 12:50)
Session abstract There are an estimated 214 million international labour migrants and 740 million internal labour migrants worldwide. The impact of migration on receiving countries and regions has received unprecedented public and policy interest in recent years. However, migration also has a far reaching impact on rural economies and the trajectory of change in agriculture within the Global South. Understanding the relationship between migration and agrarian change is a classic ‘nexus’ challenge. The out-migration of men and youth in particular, can result in transformations in gender relations in agriculture, changes in how natural resources are managed, new patterns of investment, and reconfigured power relations and geographies of inequality. However, the character of these agrarian transformations over time and place are mediated by larger scale processes such as climate change and regional or global political economy – the same processes which drive migration in the first place. The dynamics of these relationships are not well understood, and neither is the complex experience of households negotiating migration induced demographic change in the Global South. The International Water Management Institute, as part of the CGIAR research programme on Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE), will bring together case study research on migration and rural change in the Global South to generate dialogue and debate on rural transformation in migrant sending regions and countries, to identify a research and policy agenda. Sponsored by International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Linked Sessions Geographies of migration, gender and agrarian change in the Global South (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Changing agricultural practices – transforming gender norms? Linking women's empowerment, migration and resilience in Far West Nepal
Stephanie Leder (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
The agricultural sector of South Asia is undergoing social and environmental changes not least because of climatic variations and the increasing out-migration of predominantly the young and male. The so-called feminization of agriculture marks not only a shift of demographics in rural areas in terms of gender and age, but also impacts gender relations within natural resource management. Apart from changing divisions of labor and agricultural practices, gendered norms and perceptions in natural resource management, particularly in concern to irrigation, are changing within households, and within the community. Despite a growing critical awareness of the impact of gendered norms on agricultural productivity within communities, power relations sustain in agricultural and water resource management practices despite the feminization of agriculture. This challenges adaptations to greater variations in rainfall and other environmental changes. I argue that a theoretical perspective depicting a multi-dimensional, relational and processual understanding of women's empowerment can be beneficial to discussions on migration and changing gender relations on agricultural practices. This is examined with empirical data from two villages in Doti and Dadeldhura districts in the Far West of Nepal, obtained within the DFID-funded BRACED project "Anukulan". The study sheds light on the role of multiple empowering dimensions and interventions within a changing agricultural sector. For an inclusive approach policies have to take both changing agricultural practices and gender norms in resource management into account to provide opportunities for reliable access to and control over water and land. This is particularly important for marginalized female farmers whose perceived position within the village is determined by socio-cultural and economic divides such as age, marital status, caste, remittance flow and land ownership.
Male out-migration and its effect on gender relation in farmer communities in Indonesia
Elok Ponco Mulyoutami (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
Betha Lusiana (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
D. Awalina (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
Eva Fauziyah (Agroforestry Research Center, Indonesia)
TS Widyaningsih (Agroforestry Research Center, Indonesia)
James Michael Roshetko (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
Throughout the world, labour migration, and particular male migration, is postulated as leading to a feminization of agriculture, where female become more greatly engaged in agricultural production. Presenting findings from empirical work with timber-based smallholder producers in a peri-urban area of West Java, Indonesia, we discuss the impact of male out-migration to female participation in agriculture production both in labour allocation and in decision making. We examined the nature of 'feminization of agriculture' in non-migrant and migrant households where there are two types of out-migration communities. First, the off-farm based out migrant, where farmers out-migrated to work in off-farm based activities. The second, the land-based out-migrant farmers who migrated to gain farming land elsewhere. In 2014, we conducted survey of 245 households in 4 villages, and 2 gender-segregated focus group discussions in each villages. The survey found that off-farm based out-migration slightly increased the role of female in agriculture though decision making were still dominated by male. In land-based migrant and non-migrant community, the gender role division and decision-making are still proportional. However, we found no differences in the allocation of labour for agricultural production among the different types of communities (non-migrant, land-based out migrant, and off-farm based out-migrant. Similar to our findings elsewhere in Indonesia, there are gender specific differences but complementary role in agricultural production. Male tend to be responsible for opening land preparation, planting and farm management; while female tend to be more involved in harvesting, post-harvest and marketing.
Sexism in postcolonial Mauritius: the role of metropolisation and communalism for maintaining gender differences in status and power
Peter Dirksmeier (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)
Sexism as a variety of prejudice is widely addressed as a severe social problem for society owing to its quality of establishing various forms of inequality. However, sexism is a rather neglected issue in geography especially concerning the global South. The postcolonial island state of Mauritius, agrarian-oriented and socially conservative but well integrated in global value chains, shows the unique combination of a strong paternalistic form of inward ethnic orientation, characteristic for most postcolonial states, combined with a minor tendency for metropolisation, i.e. rural-urban migration, which makes the island state worthwhile for the further development of generic theories of sexism in general. The paper analyses relevant predictors of sexism in Mauritius, especially taking migration flows into account, that can be useful in informing approaches that focus especially north/south differences of gender inequality. It becomes apparent that mechanisms of sexism in Mauritius are in most dimensions the same as the mechanisms found in the global North. The paper will discuss these results and, thus, will point in the direction of the necessity to think in new ways about attitudinal differences of societies in the global North/South especially in postcolonial contexts.
Participatory videos in Nepal: Voicing women and men's perceptions on climate change by Floriane Clement (IWMI)
Floriane Clement (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Panel discussion
Fraser Sugden (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Panel discussion