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The 'Good Wife': Struggles over Resources in the Kenyan Horticultural Sector

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  • C. Dolan
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    Abstract

    This paper examines how the contracting of French beans has engendered conflict over rights, obligations and resources in Meru District, Kenya. In response to pressure for agricultural diversification and the expanding European market for "gourmet" vegetables, horticulture, the historical domain of women, has been rapidly intensified, commoditized and in many cases, appropriated by men. Women have responded to the erosion of their rights in ways that appear paradoxical -- some undergoing Christian conversion while others poison their husbands -- practices that simultaneously affirm and contest the prevailing norms of the "good wife". In Meru, gender relations are key to the negotiation of household resources and the potential for capital accumulation in the export horticultural sector.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 39-70

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:37:y:2001:i:3:p:39-70

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    Related research

    Keywords: French Beans; Horticultural Sector; Resources; Conflict; Capital Accumulation; Kenya;

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    Cited by:
    1. Andre Croppenstedt & Markus Goldstein & Nina Rosas, 2013. "Gender and Agriculture: Inefficiencies, Segregation, and Low Productivity Traps," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 79-109, February.
    2. Jennifer Golan & Jann Lay, 2008. "More Coffee, More Cigarettes? Coffee Market Liberalisation, Gender, and Bargaining in Uganda," Kiel Working Papers 1402, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    3. Susanne Väth & Michael Kirk, 2014. "Do property rights and contract farming matter for rural development? Evidence from a large-scale investment in Ghana," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201416, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Raynolds, Laura T., 2002. "Wages for Wives: Renegotiating Gender and Production Relations in Contract Farming in the Dominican Republic," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 783-798, May.
    5. Koczberski, Gina, 2007. "Loose Fruit Mamas: Creating Incentives for Smallholder Women in Oil Palm Production in Papua New Guinea," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1172-1185, July.
    6. Rao, Elizaphan J.O. & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Supermarkets and agricultural labor demand in Kenya: A gendered perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 165-176.
    7. Sarah Bowen & Peter Gerritsen, 2007. "Reverse leasing and power dynamics among blue agave farmers in western Mexico," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 473-488, December.
    8. Susanne Väth & Simone Gobien, 2014. "Life Satisfaction, Contract Farming and Property Rights: Evidence from Ghana," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201415, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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