Intra-household gender relations and urban agriculture: The case of vegetable cultivation in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania

Mntambo, Betty (2017) Intra-household gender relations and urban agriculture: The case of vegetable cultivation in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Unemployment, poverty and environmental degradation are among the challenges facing urban Tanzania. Currently, research on urban agriculture (UA) is gaining importance for its potential to reduce poverty, food insecurity and environmental stress. While research in rural areas has shown gender to be a key factor mediating agricultural performance, little is known about the dynamics of gender in UA, how they are sustained, and how UA shapes gender relations. This thesis fills this gap by examining how gardening activities and gender relations mutually shape each other in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania.
Drawing on both bargaining and the separate spheres model of the household (Sen 1990; Lundberg and Pollak 1993) Schroeder (1996, 1999), and on Ribot and Peluso’s (2003) access theory, this study focuses on how the allocation of labour in gardening and domestic activities, decision making about gardening income, and access to productive resources affect gender relations and gardening itself. The research was conducted for ten months in two open spaces where leafy vegetables were cultivated. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used.
A significant finding is the centrality of access to other household members for female gardeners to undertake gardening while meeting their gendered domestic responsibilities. Their access to household members for gardening varies with their life cycle, female-headed households, for women whose spouses are non-gardeners, and for women with young children. Secondly, strategies for accessing resources are dynamic, but vary across households according to gardening season, gender, type of resource, amount of capital, and availability of household members for gardening. Finally, different ways for negotiating the utilisation of gardening income were visible, most spouses not pooling their income but cooperating in family investments. Women’s bargaining power depends both on their earnings and other sociocultural influences. An analysis of gender relations in UA shows that women’s approaches and strategies are shaped by their position, are different from those of men, and need to be considered in urban development planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 11:43
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020 13:58


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