Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Agriculture and Human Values

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Publication Date

11-21-2019

First Page

1

Last Page

41

Abstract

The feminization of agriculture narrative has been reproduced in development literature as an oversimplified metric of empowerment through changes in women’s labor and managerial roles with little attention to individuals’ heterogeneous livelihoods. Grounded in feminist political ecology (FPE), we sought to critically understand how labor and managerial feminization interact with changing agricultural practices. Working with a local NGO as part of an international, donor-funded research-for-development project, we conducted semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation with over 100 farmers in Mid-Western Nepal in 2017. Household structure and headship are dynamic in the context of male out-migration, pushing women to take on new agricultural duties and increasing household labor responsibilities. In this context, decision-making processes related to agricultural management and new cultivation practices illustrate ongoing renegotiations of gender and cultivation practices within and beyond the household. We contend that the heterogeneity of household power dynamics muddies the empowering impacts of migration and emphasize the importance of community spaces as a locus of subjectivity formation and social value. We conclude that FPE can illuminate complexities of power, space, and individual responses to socio-ecological conditions that challenge the current feminization of agriculture framework.

Comments

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Agriculture and Human Values. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10460-019-09997-0

Available for download on Saturday, November 21, 2020

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