Transforming Gender and Food Security in the Global South: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transforming Gender and Food Security in the Global South

1st Edition

Edited by Jemimah Njuki, John R. Parkins, Amy Kaler


312 pages | 56 B/W Illus.

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Drawing on studies from Africa, Asia and South America, this book provides empirical evidence and conceptual explorations of the gendered dimensions of food security. It investigates how food security and gender inequity are conceptualized within interventions, assesses the impacts and outcomes of gender-responsive programs on food security and gender equity and addresses diverse approaches to gender research and practice that range from descriptive and analytical to strategic and transformative. The chapters draw on diverse theoretical perspectives, including transformative learning, feminist theory, deliberative democracy and technology adoption. As a result, they add important conceptual and empirical material to a growing literature on the challenges of gender equity in agricultural production.

A unique feature of this book is the integration of both analytic and transformative approaches to understanding gender and food security. The analytic material shows how food security interventions enable women and men to meet the long-term nutritional needs of their households, and to enhance their economic position. The transformative chapters also document efforts to build durable and equitable relationships between men and women, addressing underlying social, cultural and economic causes of gender inequality. Taken together, these combined approaches enable women and men to reflect on gendered divisions of labor and resources related to food, and to reshape these divisions in ways which benefit families and communities.

Co-published with the International Development Research Centre.

Table of Contents


Jemimah Njuki, John Parkins, Amy Kaler, and Sara Ahmed

Part 1: Measuring Gender Relations and Women’s Empowerment

1. Measuring Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: Addressing the Multidimensional Nature of Gender Dynamics in Agriculture

Maureen Miruka, Jemimah Njuki, Laurie Starr, Elizabeth Kruger, and Emily Hillenbrand

Part 2: From Measurement to Action

2. From Capture to Culture: Space for Mainstreaming Women in Coastal Aquaculture Development in Sri Lanka

Tim Dejager and Chamila Jayasinghe

3. Gender and Labour Efficiency in Finger Millet Production in Nepal

Rachana Devkota, Kamal Khadka, Hom Gartaula, Asis Shrestha, Swikar Karki, Kirit Patel, and Pashupati Chaudhary

4. Teach a Woman to Fish: Encountering Empowerment in Community Fish Farming in Eastern India

Rajakishor Mahana and Durairaja Ramulu

Part 3: Placing Gender in Local Institutional Contexts

5. Coffee Ceremonies, Gender, and Food Security in Two Ethiopian Villages

JoAnn Jaffe and Amy Kaler

6. A Missed Opportunity for Research and Development Interventions: Gender and the Forest Food Trade in Urban Cameroon

Lauren Q. Sneyd

7. Gender and Innovation in Peru’s Native Potato Market Chains

Silvia Sarapura Escobar, Helen Hambly Odame, and Graham Thiele

Part 4: Approaches to Transforming Gender Relations

8. From Gender Analysis to Transforming Gender Norms: Using Empowerment Pathways to Enhance Gender Equity and Food Security in Tanzania

Alessandra Galiè and Paula Kantor

9. Gender Transformative Approaches with Socially and Environmentally Vulnerable Groups: Indigenous Fishers of the Bolivian Amazon

Alison E. Macnaughton, Tiffanie K. Rainville, Claudia I. Coca Méndez, Elaine M. Ward, John Wojciechowski, and Joachim Carolsfeld

10. "Doing Jenda Deliberatively" in a Participatory Agriculture-Nutrition Project in Malawi

Rachel Bezner Kerr, Esther Lupafya, Lizzie Shumba, Laifolo Dakishoni, Rodgers Msachi, Anita Chitaya, Paul Nkhonjera, Mwapi Mkandawire, Tinkani Gondwe, and Esther Maona

11. Gendered Technology Adoption and Household Food Security in Semi-Arid Eastern Kenya

Esther Njuguna, Leigh Brownhill, Esther Kihoro, Lutta Muhammad, and Gordon M. Hickey

Conclusion: Enhancing Analysis and Action in Transforming Agriculture and Food Systems

Jemimah Njuki, John Parkins, and Amy Kaler

About the Editors

Jemimah Njuki is a senior program officer in the Agriculture and Food Security program at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Nairobi, Kenya.

John R. Parkins is a professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada.

Amy Kaler is a professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment

This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to food, society and the environment. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies