Mediated by men: environmental change, land resources management & gender in rural Kano, Northern Nigeria

Baba, Saadatu Umaru (2015). Mediated by men: environmental change, land resources management & gender in rural Kano, Northern Nigeria. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The research examines the way gender relations affect land management and the perception and experience of degradation in two communities in rural Kano, northern Nigeria. Gender plays a central role in the organisation of northern Nigerian society, not least because of the prevalence of wife seclusion and the strict separation of male and female space. The Nigerian government considers desertification and land degradation to be the main environmental issue affecting northern Nigerian communities and links it to poverty and food insecurity, and considerable sums are targeted towards it. Agriculture is the mainstay of rural economies in the region, but women farmers are a minority of the public workforce in agricultural production and the extent of their involvement decreases with increasing seclusion. The study focuses on this minority and examines the interaction of 2 groups of women with natural resources, one secluded and the other non-secluded, their perception of and response to land degradation and their land management practices. The study finds that though gender is an important differentiation, both men’s and women’s views are influenced by their socio-economic positions. The study finds that the women’s land management practices are mediated by their relationships with men and with other women. Men act as a cushion to certain aspects of land degradation such as food insecurity, but other important aspects of women’s lives such as their social net-works and their economic independence are vulnerable. The study also uncovers the centrality of faith in people’s experience of and response to environmental change.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman


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