Gender, small-scale livestock farming and food security: policy implications in the South African context

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): V.Reddy, S.Goga, F.Timol, S.Molefi, A.Mather, T.Chetty, D.Wallace
KEYWORDS: AGRICULTURE, FARMERS, FOOD SECURITY, LIVESTOCK, POLICY FORMULATION, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 8616

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Abstract

Women are powerful but often neglected agents of change, and their leadership is critical: they play a significant role in decision-making within households, including decision-making about animal care, the use of livestockfarming by-products and household food security. As key actors in the agricultural sector, women play a vital role in addressing and leading efforts to improve local economic growth by farming with livestock and improving livestock health, thereby contributing to household food security. Gender perspectives on livestock farming and disease prevention (i.e. mitigation, adaptation, policy development, decision-making) are urgently needed to improve the broad human and social dimensions of farming systems. Drawing on insights from a recent baseline study and multiple studies in Africa and elsewhere, this policy brief addresses the importance of gender considerations for small-scale livestockfarming communities in relation to food security in the South African context. The brief examines some of the key elements of gender in relation to small-scale livestock farming, asks how some of these important elements align with current policies and practices, and makes a number of focused policy recommendations.