Gender Equity in Climate Change Mitigation: Where are the “mamas”?

Published on October 1, 2013 | Author: Jean Lee

Agricultural soil carbon projects that explicitly seek to promote sustainable agricultural land management practices (SALM) are quickly gaining attention worldwide for their promise to deliver the “triple‐win”: adaptation, food security, and mitigation. However, as the recent scholarship on green‐grabbing suggests, a closer examination of how these projects affect local communities, in particular women who do not have secure land tenure, is necessary.

I used the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) as a case study to understand the implications of gender equity on land grabbing. With respect to access, women had less access because they did not have the same level of influence in decision‐making as men. On the project level, both men and women had little influence in establishing project requirements and potential benefits, as these were decided upon prior to farmer recruitment.

Regarding outcomes, women tended to participate in more project activities, and would in return reap more non‐monetary benefits than men. However, the cost of these benefits was non‐trivial: women also spent more time on the farm due to the substantial time and effort required to implement SALM practices. While currently the KACP project has not resulted in land grabbing, this is most likely due to the type of practices the project promoted. However, agricultural carbon projects in the future will need to be cautious of how promoted practices may change dynamics in the household and possibly strengthen men’s control over land, especially if men start viewing the land as productive and if the carbon income is substantial.

Lee, J. (2013). Gender Equity in Climate Change Mitigation: Where are the “mamas”? Working Paper 52. The Land Deal Politics Initiative.
Link to publication