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Gender relations in household grain storage management and marketing: the case of Binga District, Zimbabwe

Listed author(s):
  • Joanne Manda
  • Brighton Mvumi


Registered author(s):

    This study uses the Locke and Okali gender analysis framework to explore gender relations surrounding grain storage management and marketing in Binga District of Zimbabwe. The study was conducted during one grain storage season and involved multiple visits to selected households, which were used as case studies. The main question that the study sought to address was: “What bargaining goes on between men and women in the area of stored grain management and marketing?” Data were collected from four households, fitting into the following categories: simple monogamous, complex monogamous (two scenarios), and polygamous. Participatory rural appraisal tools and techniques were extensively used and formed the backdrop of all the data collection. The study established that much bargaining and strategizing occurs within the household in order for women to exercise control over the use of stored grain. The bargaining process was found to be a complex one of give-and-take without an immediately recognizable winner. There is evidence that women use this bargaining power to exert influence on their relative position in the household in terms of independent income generation and management, seniority, and overall household food security policies. While bargaining between and within gender remains shrouded in subtleness, individuals in a household consciously use their skills to manipulate the situation to their best advantage. This article is expected to initiate broader debate in the area of gender roles and bargaining in grain post-harvest management, an area often kept private by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Copyright The Author(s) 2010

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    Article provided by Springer & The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 85-103

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:85-103
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-008-9171-8
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    1. Doss, Cheryl R., 2001. "Designing Agricultural Technology for African Women Farmers: Lessons from 25 Years of Experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2075-2092, December.
    2. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
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