Recent research highlights the role of gender in pastoral and dryland innovations

Recent research highlights the role of gender in pastoral and dryland innovations

Scientists in the sustainable livestock system program (SLS) are conducting research to inform the design of gender-responsive and transformative approaches in pastoral systems and drylands contexts.

Women’s roles in Participatory Rangeland Management (PRM)

A study to understand women’s roles in rangeland governance and leadership described how cultural norms limit, and may sometimes enable, women to assume leadership roles in rangeland resource management and decision-making. Women often have more knowledge than men about certain resources, such as water and medicinal herbs. Women’s roles in fetching water have major implications for their labour burdens. Conserving and protecting water sources near homes can alleviate gendered burdens associated with water harvesting, for example.  Through PRM activities, such as gender sensitisation, women’s engagement in rangeland resource management has increased.

Climate Information Services and Climate Smart Agriculture

Accelerating the Impact of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA) project is scaling climate information systems (CIS) and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) using socially inclusive approaches to support climate adaptation capacities and abilities.

A recent study found that digitally based CIS services can exclude women. Women’s ownership and access to mobile phones are on the rise, however, women’s use of phones is still lower than men’s ownership of phones, both smartphones and feature phones.   ILRI is partnering with Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) to enhance the uptake of decision-making tools that support the development of context-specific weather and agro-advisory services. In addition, to broaden the scope of CIS and CSA, the use of radio and community-based climate knowledge networks, are receiving support to enhance information reach. 

AICCRA  has also increased women’s uptake and adoption of drought-tolerant crops in lower eastern counties. Over 1000 women participate in seed distribution and receive training on drought-tolerant crops in these areas marking a two-thirds majority of beneficiaries from the project. 

Insurance and risk mitigation

Pablo Delvaux
Research evidence shows that gender-responsive approaches for climate change adaptation in pastoral and dryland areas will help women to continue building independent and resilient livelihoods.

Index Based Livestock Insurance aims to reduce risks through drought risk financing in East Africa. Analysis of longitudinal panel data revealed gender differences in adoption rates and the species that women and men insure. Complementary qualitative analysis revealed the ways that intersecting social factors, such as gender and the position of wives in polygamous households influence women’s participation in insurance decision-making and benefit distribution. Findings will inform the next steps in the development of bundled services to support adaptation capacities and practices.