Gender Fictions and Gender Tensions Involving “Traditional” Asante Market Women

by Gracia Clark Abstract This paper analyses the changing relations between organised women market traders and rulers in a West African context, from a distant past to the present. It shows how political elites have used market traders as loyal supporters and as scapegoats for many centuries. These relations have taken a convoluted path that […]

Women’s Human Rights in Africa: Beyond the Debate Over the Universality or Relativity of Human Rights

by Diana J. Fox Introduction In the fifty years following the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, anthropology as a discipline has embraced a predominantly ethical relativist stance toward the idea of human rights as a legitimate universal concern for all cultures. In the past […]

Reading As A Woman: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Feminist Criticism

by Linda Strong-Leek Introduction Does “reading as a woman” change one’s perspective on a text? Can a woman read as a woman after being conditioned, generally, to read as a man? In his On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism, Jonathan Culler (1982) addresses these issues and forms several interesting conclusions. What does it mean to […]

Domestic, Regional and International Protection of Nigerian Women Against Discrimination: Constraints and Possibilities

by Mojbol Olfnk Okome Introduction Discrimination against women is defined by Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women of 1979 (heretofore referred to as the 1979 Convention or CEDAW) as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose […]

Is Fertilizer a Public or Private Good in Africa? An Opinion Piece

by Christina H. Gladwin, Alan Randall, Andrew Schmitz, and G. Edward Schuh Traditionally, fertilizer has been treated by economists as a private, not public, good [1]. Soil scientist Pedro Sanchez and researchers associated with the International Center for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF), however, claim that ICRAF’s agroforestry innovations should be adopted by African farmers as an inexpensive […]

Modeling AgroForestry Adoption and Household Decision Making in Malawi

by Paul H. Thangata, Peter .E. Hildebrand, and Christina H. Gladwin Abstract Low resource farmers make decisions about adopting new technologies as part of the overall strategy for ensuring subsistence and cash income for their food security needs. This paper reports on a study conducted in Kasungu, Malawi, southern Africa, to evaluate the potential for small-scale […]

AgroForestry Innovations in Africa: Can They Improve Soil Fertility on Women Farmers’ Fields?

by Christina H. Gladwin, Jennifer S. Peterson, and Robert Uttaro Abstract Most observers agree that the verdict is still out for agroforestry innovations known as improved fallows, which may take a decade for farmers to test properly.  First farmers plant several small plots of different tree species, cut them after two years and plant a cash […]

Gender Analysis of a Nationwide Cropping System Trial Survey in Malawi

by Robert A. Gilbert, Webster D. Sakala, and Todd D. Benson Abstract The majority of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are female, yet women often have limited access to extension information and agricultural inputs. Designing improved agricultural research and extension services for women in Africa is a challenging task since female farmers defy simple characterizations, and […]

Vouchers versus Grants of Inputs: Evidence from Malawi’s Starter Pack Program

by Amy E. Gough, Christina H. Gladwin, and Peter E. Hildebrand Abstract The majority of Malawi’s smallholders use low purchased-input technologies and as a result, produce low yields; 40 to 60 percent of rural households face chronic food insecurity for two to five months every year. These households are therefore in need of a program to […]

The Effect of Cash Cropping, Credit, and Household Composition on Household Food Security in Southern Malawi

by Andrea S. Anderson Abstract Diversifying household activiies is essential to household food security in Southern Malawi.  Farms are extremely small; many farms are less than half a hectare.  With these small landholdings, food security cannot be achieved by subsistence farming alone.  Cash crops and off-farm income are key to these livelihood systems.  This paper […]